The Brood (1979)

If you’re looking for a Cronenberg classic, look no further than his 1979 film, The Brood.

At the Sommee Institute for Psychoplasmics, Dr. Hal Raglan (Oliver Reed) conducts radical psychotherapy on his patients. Some, however, think this therapy is harmful, including Frank (Art Hindle). His estranged wife Nola (Samantha Eggar) is receiving treatment there, and their daughter Candy (Cindy Hinds) comes home with bruises after a visit with her mother at the institute. Frank is highly disturbed and wants nothing more to do with Nola and her therapy, but Raglan denies any violence and opposes Frank’s concerns. When Candy witnesses her grandmother being attacked and killed by a strange child, Frank is even more alarmed. The attacks continue, and the police discover the assailants are tiny killers with abnormal physiology. When Candy’s teacher is murdered, and Candy goes missing, Frank must get to the bottom of this bizarre mystery and Raglan’s motives before his daughter is lost forever.

The Brood is reported to be one of David Cronenberg’s most personal films. Filmed in Toronto and based on his difficult divorce, the director uses the pain of a dissolved marriage, the nasty tactics of child custody, and generational dysfunction and manifests it with the horrific. Hindle authentically portrays a father at his wit’s end, Reed is perfect as the intensely egotistical Dr. Raglan, and Eggar is captivating as a woman trusting her mental health to dubious science as she works out past traumas.

Review by Carolyn Mauricette




Cronenberg, Horror

Canadian connection

Written and directed by David Cronenberg
Toronto, Ontario
Child actor Cindy Hinds appeared in two Cronenberg films: she made her acting debut in The Brood and would also be cast in The Dead Zone.