A bitter divorce literally spawns monsters in this terrifying entry in David Cronenberg’s “body horror” cycle. While an unorthodox psychiatrist (Oliver Reed) treats a psychotic patient (Samantha Eggar), her ex-husband tries to protect his daughter as a series of vicious murders befall those connected to him. Written while Cronenberg was going through his own divorce and custody battle, The Brood is perhaps the filmmaker at his most emotionally naked—an early masterwork that filters troubling social anxieties through mutation, mutilation, and the uncanny.
“I saw this movie as a 12-year-old, and I will always remember the image of those children in the colorful jackets, hammers in hand. I realized later that these children were terrifying because they were terrified. I also realized that, in the guise of a B movie, The Brood demonstrated that Cronenberg’s visionary and organic genius was already at play.” —BB