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“The brood,” Cronenberg: the horror behind the scenes

Synopsis. The film is about the family of Kargatov – Frank, Nola, and their daughter Candace. Nola is undergoing treatment from Dr. Hal Raglan – inventor of psychoplastic. The essence of this psychotherapeutic method is that during the interview of the patient and the doctor, on which are projected images of people that cause the anger of the patient, emotions and injuries begin to manifest themselves physically, going through the body and leading to healing (in theory, but the result is the opposite). While Nola is undergoing this strange psychotherapy, Frank has a daughter on their own. But suddenly on the body of Candace bruises and scratches, and Frank suspects Nola. Strange children-mutants attack and kill the mother and the father of Nola, as well as the teacher candice. On opening one of them reveals that he has no navel, genitals, and eyes covered by cornea, limiting vision black-and-white scheme. Killings occur in parallel with the sessions of Raglan and Nola, in which he alternately plays the role of dead people who, as it turns out, incur the wrath of Nola: a mother beat her child, her father did not help, and the teacher of her daughter she is suspected of seducing her husband. In the end, of course, children-mutants are the physical product of the anger of Nola, literally her “offspring,” “brood”. What happens at the end – spoiler I will not.

Aesthetic analysis. The main expressive means of the film – framing. The film was shot almost entirely close-UPSin which faces and figures of people trapped frames. With two white figures on a black background, the film begins and ends it is mega plan of the skin and eyes Candace. When the camera moves to the middle and General plans, people are still clamped with the help of frames: Windows and doors, corridor walls, flights of stairs. Large plans – a common tool in horror films needed to demonstrate people’s emotions, their fears. Framing is often used in movies to show the loneliness of people, their alienation from each other, isolation, sagnanet doom.

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But Cronenberg uses traditional techniques are entirely different. What threatens the characters in the movie? Hidden anger and hidden injuries of Nola, about whom we learn throughout the film and which are embodied in children-mutants. But how to represent this underlying reality, because it is by definition invisible? For this and serve of the frame and setting the frame: they cut the most important thing behind the scenes. The characters live in a very narrow world that is available to their consciousness. But the most important thing in man, according to Cronenberg, occurs in the unconscious. What remains full movie behind the scenes (almost all except the people) is the unconscious that threaten the people and implicitly determines their behavior.

Another interesting technique – black-and-white panels into a color image. They appear when Frank remembers the opening of the first baby mutant that killed the mother and father of Nola. It would seem that the usual method – demonstration memories in Sepia. But during the autopsy it appears that the mutant sees the world in black and white. So, at this point, the Director makes us see the world through the eyes of a mutant. So, we are forced to feel empathy for the monster, because he is a product of the psychological trauma that is connected with the fact that Nola lacks empathy, which causes her anger.

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Finally, special attention deserves a bright beginning. We see two men dressed in white on a black background. It seems to us that talking to each other the father and the son. Then we see that they are on the stage and in the hall sat the audience, and we decide what it is – a performance. But in the end it turns out that we were shown a demonstration session psychoplastic. What’s going on? The Director plays with our perception of reality, is cheating on him, blurring the boundaries between the real and the imaginary, and at the same time alluding to the fact that all future – only an allegory of the psychological disease of female hysteria.

Eventually, the whole set of methods gives a very strong effect. In fact, it is a visual abuse of the viewer: Cronenberg drives our vision within narrow bounds, makes us see the world through the eyes of a monster that blurs the boundaries we hold between the real and the imaginary. In fact, body horror, monstrous and disgusting bodily mutations – is not the main tool of this visual violence, Cronenberg is much thinner. We can say that he is doing to us the same as Dr. Raglan with their patients. Brilliant!

Rating. “The brood” – the latest film Cronenberg directed in the turbulent 70s, which brought big box office and provide it with continued success until the present day. This is a classic bioerror that I would recommend to watch if you haven’t seen. 10 out of 10!

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