They’re Waiting… For You!

Directed by David Cronenberg

Reviewed by Deep Red

Aka Chromosome 3

The Brood is early Cronenberg and in my opinion one of his best films. It belongs to the fascinating subgenre of Body Horror along with other Cronenberg classics Shivers [1975], Rabid [1977], Scanners [1981], Videodrome [1983], The Fly [1986], Dead Ringers [1988] and eXistenZ [1999].

The Brood stars Oliver Reed as Dr. Hal Raglan, a psychotherapist who treats his patients with a technique called psychoplasmics which causes repressed emotions to manifest as physiological changes. Frank Carveth (Art Hindle), whose wife Nola (Samantha Eggar) is one of Raglan’s patients, is concerned when he notices signs of abuse on his five-year-old daughter Candice (Cindy Hinds). He approaches Raglan and tells him Nola can no longer see Candice, suspecting she is responsible for the abuse.

Candice is left with her grandmother Juliana (Nuala Fitzgerald) and Juliana is beaten to death by what appears to be an ugly little child. Frank investigates Raglan, meeting ex-patient Jan Hartog (Robert A. Silverman), and Nola’s father Barton (Henry Beckman) confronts Raglan. After being turned away Barton calls Frank and asks him to go with him to the institute where Raglan works. Candice is left with Ruth Mayer (Susan Hogan). Barton is viciously attacked and killed before Frank gets there by the same ugly little child as Juliana. Meanwhile Ruth gets an abusive and threatening phonecall from Nola….

Oliver Reed is on thunderous form as Raglan and Samantha Eggar is phenomenal as Nola. This film has a great cast but those two actors stand out for me, love Oliver Reed personally, he was a one-off. Art Hindle does well as the concerned father and husband. The only version to watch is this, the U.S. Version (Unrated), as apart from the absorbing story there is some nice violence and gore that really deserves to be seen in its entirety. The Brood is one of the best horror films and, yes, there are many films in that group speaking as a horror fan but it’s one of those films where I can’t say anything is better, just on a level with it. If I could only own the very best horrors then The Brood would be one I’d choose to be in that collection.

I’ve seen it many times and every time I’m totally absorbed, it’s an easy watch that never gets old and the scenes that were designed to shock, still shock. It’s a masterpiece. I could watch it again tomorrow and still get totally into it. It’s perfect basically and it delivers right up to its conclusion. I hope they’ll never remake this but I’ve got a feeling they will; a remake of The Brood would be just one more nail in the coffin of horror in my opinion, but like a dutiful moron I’d watch it then complain about the woeful CGI and horrendous teen cast as ever. But then I’d watch this version again and all would be well. Why? Why? Why? These films are timeless and there’s not a single reason why they need to be remade, computer generated and edited so as to please the easily bored who frankly deserve a slap more than they derserve such a vile concoction as will satiate their bland tastes and impatient schedules. Fuck ’em. Don’t remake classics, let ’em watch the originals or do without.

Also stars Gary McKeehan as Mike Trellan and Michael Magee as Inspector.