Quick-Thoughts: David Cronenberg’s The Brood (1979)

Okay, now we’ve all had our share of crazy exes before, but Frank… buddy.

David Cronenberg’s Marriage Story (2019), and it’s just as good… for very different reasons. For one, it’s a shamelessly biased finger-point rather than some mutual condemnation of both parents. The Brood is essentially the director ranting his side of the argument (and experience, emotions, etc.) through the vicious form of symbolic science-fiction that breeds the enemy’s subconscious desires with dreams and the outcome of them with lethal flesh-deformed beings to dramatize the faculty for which the mother holds over the father. The film has maybe his best opening dialogue also via the ropes of introducing us to a psychiatric therapy environment — Oliver Reed and Samantha Egger, y’all went IN throughout— that exemplifies where exactly the antagonistic side resides; now that’s just cold, Cronenberg.

In other words, this is probably the body-horror king at his most immature and selfish, but I personally do not give a damn because art can (and should not have restriction to) be earnest. I’m all for seeing the vulnerable, intolerant side of its creators; everybody is often obsessed with themselves; there’s no way of hiding that to a T. The Brood is a one-sided confession of the utmost cynical urges and perspectives to come from these sort of two-sided custody affairs, not something that ushers to a rational resolution of victory as if humans were that soluble. 

Gotta love it too when a horror movie sends you off with a cute little “f**k you” message as if it totally didn’t just chain you through enough real-life inspired pessimism already: even if you die, your trauma always lives on; reflected experiences become the bloodline. Now THAT is f**king scary — and sadly kind of true!

Verdict: B

David Cronenberg Ranked

“The Brood” is now available to stream on The Criterion Channel and HBO Max.

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