The Brood (1979)

This is what happens when you smoke crack while pregnant with quintuplets.David Cronenberg knows horror movies.

He’s one of the first directors to start the verenal (body) horror genre. From Wikipedia:

Body horror, or biological horror, is horror fiction in which the horror is principally derived from a sense of physical “wrongness” with the body. Body horror mainly focuses upon radical physical transformations, bodily degeneration, mutant births, and the invasion/violation of the body by a disease or foreign organisms. Works of body horror integrate the psychological horror of one’s body undergoing disturbing and irreversible changes with grotesque and shocking imagery.


Now when I say horror movies, I don’t simply mean movies that are scary. That’s a bit different. Horror, for me, is more than just jumps and screams. They stick with you long after the movie is over. They usually leave images in your mind, too. (Cronenberg is great at that, by the way.) Sometimes the movie doesn’t even have to be scary, as long as it’s good.

A perfect example of this is The Brood. Simple yet interesting plot: a psychotherapist starts his own treatment called “psychoplasmics.” He has patients “let it all out” when it comes to negative emotions and in turn these emotions physically manifest, usually in their own bodies. One of the main characters, Frank tries to get his wife Nola out of the doctor’s care and fails, so he starts his own investigation. In Nola’s case, her anger gives birth to mutant children who kill for her… wearing matching ski parkas (at least she has enough fashion sense to pass on, right?). That last part is a little uneccsarily creepy, but I guess that was intentional. Anyway, whenever she has a session with creepy doctor and vents about someone, she subconsciously directs these children to kill that person. Usually with her sharp or blunt objects. (Ouch.)

After reading about this movie online, I came across another blog that made a very good observation about The Grudge, Poltergeist, and The Brood. They all share the same theme about anger and how it will “kill” and grow into something bigger if unresolved. Nice little moral wrapped into these horror movies, right?

P.S. Creepiest part? Wait for the ending when Nola gives birth to another fetus. You’ll know which scene I’m talking about.




~ by elizabeth on August 20, 2008.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: