Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Brood: Well- At Least They Had the Decency to Wear Snow Suits.

I think I've read the plot to The Brood about 25 times- and every single time that I've finished, my face scrunches up and I look around the room suspiciously. A mother gives birth to her own dark emotions and anger- and they act out her subconscious feelings? What the fuck does that mean?! I used to just think the woman gave birth to deformed children and they started killing people and everyone was upset--kind of like an It's Alive! sort of vibe. But as it turns out- trying to understand the plot by reading it, is basically impossible. The Brood is one of those movies that you have to see in order to understand. It may just be Cronenberg's most personal film- and one of the most uniquely disturbing things I have ever witnessed.

The film is based around the character of Nola, who has started receiving psychological treatment from a sort of experimental clinic AKA a bunch of bull shit. The doctor believes that his patients need to allow their dark and negative feelings to "live" therefore in most instances causing the body to undergo serious physical changes. In the case of the patient in the beginning- when acting out aggression towards his "father" (the doctor pretending to be his father) the patient starts getting these awful and painful welts. It's all very strange-- and certainly something very 70s although I'm pretty sure things like that still sadly exist. Anywho Nola has been isolated from her husband for awhile now- and once her therapy sessions start getting intense- the people who she is angry at- end up dead--and killed by the ugliest looking beasties I have ever seen.



It's all very confusing and like I said you will not understand the plot unless you see this for yourself so I'm going to stop talking about it because I feel dumb.

Now--one of the things that I found to be the most interesting, is that the film plays like a typical sort of murder thriller for most of it. We have these strange little beasties killing people with hammers and people just assume it's some neglected deformed child of a crazy alcoholic woman living in a shack somewhere. Sure we may think that Nola has something to do with it- but the very thought is too improbable to imagine. This is where the beauty in the film lies for me. When Frank first enters the compound and learns of the brood we are still just shaking our heads at the deranged psychiatrist. And then- Nola lifts that dress up and our eyes roll back into our heads.

Have you ever been more revolted in all your life? That sac is the product of Nola's anger and frustration. Her dark subconscious mind taking control so dynamically that it causes her to give birth to evil beasties. It's fucking wild. It's the wildest thing that I have ever come across I think. And the funny part is--I had seen this particular scene so many many times but I never imagined that it would come so late in the film and that it would knock the breath out of me. In case you didn't think things could get worse...feast your eyes on this.
Yup. There she is. Nola- cleaning off the beastie fetus WITH HER TONGUE. Although if you think about it- it's totally natural, since other animals do that when they give birth and all but STILL. Huge what the fuck moment there. Just the overall idea of someone's anger reaching high enough to manifest itself in this way is insane- and amazing at the same time.

One of the minor details I really enjoyed is the fact that the brood always used a hammer type of object to kill. Using such an intimate weapon of course clues us into the fact that it is a crime of passion- of sorts. Nola's intense feelings of hurt are embodied so well in the murder scenes- and it all begins to make so much sense- once we realize what is actually happening of course.

My favorite creep-tastic scene was when Candie was in school and then suddenly two beasties arrive and quietly make her leave. What makes this so creepy is that we just saw the beastie that killed the first two victims-dead on the autopsy table. The introduction of two more is a signifier that shit is fucked up. Plus all the kids witnessing the teacher's death and the screaming--yikes what a trip. Also notably creepy- was when the same two beasties were holding Candie's hand and walking up the snowy road. I don't understand where the beasties got such nice snow suits- and matching pajamas and long johns but hey it's totally working for them.

Overall a completely mind bending movie that is so unapologetically deep and personal--that's it's almost cringe worthy--but in a good way of course. The level of psychology employed here however awful the practice- shows a great deal of honest and hard hitting truth. Where do our negative emotions go if we don't outwardly express them? An idea actually part of a psychological theory that points to mental illness being the result of bottling up negative emotions. So pretty much we are screwed either way- if the negative emotions are manifested on the outside- someone else gets hurts- but keep them inside and you'll only hurt yourself. Hmmm that's deeply depressing huh?

Oh and I just have one final question.....


Who designed this piece of shit playground?

Not to mention that slide seems to missing a support beam somewhere....no fatties allowed on that slide that's for sure.

Buy The Brood at Horror Movie Empire

10 comments:

Dod March said...

I remember seeing the trailer on TV as a kid and being scared out of my wits. It floated on the edge of my viewing lists until last year - I liked it. Definitely a Cronenberg film: "what kind of physical oddity can I creep out my audience with this time?"

Oliver Reed is the man. Any time he delivers a line, all I hear is "I am bad ass and you'd better believe it."

Have you ever seen one of Cronenberg's *really* early movies, "Shivers" (or "They Came From Within")? That's a sweet one, too.

B-Sol said...

This is such a damn BIZARRE movie. But SO good. I saw it for the first time last year and loved it. Cronenberg has some real issues with the human body, that goes without saying!

Marissa Farrar said...

Oooh..sounds good! Think this will mean trip out to the video store. Am about to have own baby thou..hoping it doesn't freak me out too bad...

Emily said...

I absolutely love this movie, having only seen it a few years back and found it to be one of the scarier films I've seen as an adult. The kindergarden class kill gets my vote for one of the most disturbing death scenes of all time. The fact that the killers use little kid tools to do it in front of a bunch of crying 6 year olds is just damn horrifying.

Andre said...

Hah it is probably one of the most bizarre things that I've ever sat through--and loved every minute of it.

Marissa I think you should be OK since the evil Beastie children aren't something you will be birthing (hopefully hehe)! Let's just hope you don't have one of those nasty sacs attached to you......!

The Film Connoisseur said...

Crazy movie, with all the typical Cronenberg elements, violence, psychological themes and body horror.

Creepy movie, with a revolting climax.

Bobby Bless said...

this movie gives a whole new reason to hate kids...

Emily said...

I beg to differ. If my 'kids' end up doing the bidding of my unconscious, I may start popping out a few now!

Chris Hallock said...

Essential viewing and my 2nd favorite Cronenberg film (after Videodrome)!

Great review, Andre. It is definitely difficult to explain this to people who haven't seen it, and even to people who have.

The climax is perfect!

Major LOL at your playground dig. HAHAHAHA!

kevessence said...

I love cronenberg. Anything where people's own bodies are their enemies works for me. Maybe because I'm catholic.