Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Samantha Eggar- The Brood (1979)

Horror and Cronenberg. The two were synonymous in the late 70's and 80's. With disturbing hits like The Fly (Cronenberg, 1986), Videodrome (1983), The Dead Zone (1983), and The Brood (1979), Cronenberg placed himself alongside the elite horror auteur directors. In The Brood, the primary villain is Nola Carveth, wife and mother and today's Ultimate Woman of Horror.


Known for his visual style and unique gore effects, David Cronenberg is responsible for modernizing the horror genre with gritty films that challenged the a genre that was staying alive with mindless sequels. Paving the way for his later works, The Brood is an interesting take on the mother in the horror genre. In a paper I wrote as an undergrad, I defined the two forms of mothers in horror films as either the killer or the creator. It is how these two categories interestingly combine that makes the films so intriguing.


Nola Carveth is the epitome of the terrifying horror mother, ranking up there with the likes of Mrs. White in Carrie (DePalma, 1976). With a "brood" of demonic offspring, Nola sets out to attack the members of her family. Eggar's performance is edgy and proves that she is an actress willing to take risks in her roles. This risks pay off here, and showcase a character that transforms physically and mentally. (No spoilers given here!)


The Brood is at the top of the heap for gritty horror films of the 70's and Eggar is a prime example of a terrifying horror film mother. I'm sure the suspense is just killing you all, as the Ultimate Horror Women list is coming to a close. Who is going to be the #1 Woman of Horror? You'll just have to wait and find out! Be sure to check back tomorrow as the next woman is revealed!

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