The Brood ★★★½

Convenient, perhaps, to link this film to both Don't Look Now and Possession, both of which I watched in close proximity to this film; but there's definitely a connection. The idiotic ending of du Maurier's story is refashioned as a corporeal nightmare, subconscious, violent wish-fulfillment, while Zulawski's vision takes the seed of Cronenberg's story to a different extreme. Psychoanalytic babble is, refreshingly, treated as something of a joke, the opening priming us for a crazed therapy story (where the husband exposes the doctor's abuse and frees his wife, etc.), which Cronenberg treats mostly as a red herring. As a whole, it feels less... organic than The Fly or Dead Ringers or even Videodrome, the various elements insufficiently integrated, Dr. Raglan's belated explanation somewhat deflating. But, as in those films, the genuine human trauma beneath the gross-out gore is startlingly effective, here embodied by Candy's tear-stained face, the trauma behind that vacant, glassy look. "I'm afraid to tell you... The dream doesn't want me to."

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