The Brood Review
Written by: NecronT99
If you have only seen Scanners, then you need to start seeing the other side David Cronenberg in The Brood. Cronenberg's The Brood is about the concept that emotions can manifest themselves into a physical form. Especially the emotions of pain and anger. These emotions if focused on enough can become even a weapon. Much like Scanners focused on the mind with telepathy, The Brood focuses on the energy that everyone can have from deep emotional trauma.Cronenberg calls this " psychoplasmatics " in the film.
The main story is about psychologyst Dr. Raglan ( wonderfly played by Oliver Reed )and his controversal book " The Shape of Rage ". At his camp "The Psychoplasmatic Institute" he is taking care of Nola Carveth ( played by Samantha Eggar ) who is dealing with the trauma of a recent divorce. When her ex-huband Frank (Art Hindle )suspects that their daughter might have ben abused by Nola at the institute, Frank goes on his own mission to find out what is happening to his ex-wife and his child.
Frank discovers that Dr. Raglan's techniques cause all pain and anger to manifest into physical tumors on the body.This is due to harsh hypnotic suggestions and drugs administered by Dr. Raglan. Frank is convinced that this is causing his ex-wife to become abusive to their child. When Nola's parents and a female friend of Frank are murdered, this is when Frank starts to see something is horribly wrong at the institute and much darker than he suspected.
The real depth of the film is the concept of the mother's vengance." Hell hath no fury as a woman's scorn " as the saying goes. Cronenberg plays on the idea that a mother's angry vengance can take on physical form. That form in the movie are sexless dwarfs who kill whoever makes the mother angry.Although the mother doesn't quite realize that her anger is killing others, she is aware that the anger creates these new children for her.
This is not a gore heavy film, but the ending birth scene is pretty cool. The make-up of the various patients and their tumors is creepy and should make your skin crawl a bit.
This is not as bloody or action pact as Scanners. But this is a good mystery film with a dark undertone that sticks to the concepts that Cronenberg believes in. To see these ideas evolve, start with Rabid, watch The Brood and then finsh up with Scanners. You will see how Cronenberg's ideas of psychology,medical abuse and the human mind all connect together with these films. On a fun note - check out Cronenberg's autobiography which like Dr. Raglan's is also called " The Shape of Rage "