The Brood


David Cronenberg divorces from reality

David Cronenberg was going through a divorce when he made this, and it shows.

On the surface, this is pure body horror, as Oliver Reed’s shrink unleashes an experimental form of psychiatry where the patient’s symptoms take on a violently physical dimension. 

Yet the story’s focus on a bitter custody battle transforms events into a toxic satire of the damage that marital breakdown inflicts upon children – an unsanitised alternative to the same year’s Kramer Vs. Kramer. 

Despite the trademark reliance on icky imagery, the emphasis on slow-burning character drama is an early hint of Cronenberg’s auteurist ambitions beyond the genre ghetto.

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