Review: The Brood (Blu-ray)

BroodSecond Sight, out now

What is the secret of the Somafree Institute?

David Cronenberg’s disturbing body horror movie can now be seen in all its visceral, unpleasant glory, complete with the climax originally removed (or butchered, in Cronenberg’s words) by the censors – ironically, as the director pointed out, making things clearer and therefore oddly less horrifying than the uncensored version.

Cronenberg’s movies are always filled with images that stick in the mind long after you’ve seen the film and The Brood is no exception. While the effects and the violence serve their purpose, it’s the emotions on show that give this film its power –  it’s an angry film as Cronenberg reacts to the pain of his own divorce, and deals with issues of child abuse and spousal fighting in his own unique way.

Art Hindle, Samantha Eggar (for whom this film held a special place in her pantheon of movies, and not for a good reason), and Oliver Reed all impress; Eggar, particularly, is pushed hard by script and director.

The extras on the disc illuminate certain aspects of the production, although a longer interview with Cronenberg specifically about the film would have been welcome.

Verdict: With some genuinely horrifying moments (the scene in the classroom especially), The Brood still possesses the power to shock. 7/10

Paul Simpson

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