The Brood | Crooked Media
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May 09, 2023
Ruined with Alison Leiby and Halle Kiefer
The Brood

In This Episode

Halle and Alison put on their snowsuits and scurry around as they ruin The Brood.





[theme music]: If scary movies give you dread, keep you up late night in bed, here’s a podcast that will help you ease your mind. We’ll explain the plot real nicely. Then we’ll talk about what’s frightening so you never have to have a spooky time. It’s Ruined. 


Halle Kiefer: Hey, everybody. Welcome to Ruined. I’m Halle. 


Alison Leiby: And I’m Alison. 


Halle Kiefer: And this is a podcast where we ruin a horror movie just for you. Alison—


Alison Leiby: Just for you guys. 


Halle Kiefer: —how are you doing? Is anything horrifying been happening to you this week? 


Alison Leiby: I like, yes and no. And I can’t remember if I’ve talked about this on the podcast or not, but I recently upgraded from like a regular, like kind of handheld vacuum to a Dyson. 


Halle Kiefer: Which seems luxurious as someone— 


Alison Leiby: Did we talk about my Dyson yet? No. 


Halle Kiefer: No, let’s hear it. 


Alison Leiby: I got it on, it was on sale. I was like, with Rizz in the picture now there’s just like a lot more vacuuming, but like I did a once over of my apartment with it when I got it. And I guess I, like, never vacuumed properly. Like, my other one was like, just for show. 


Halle Kiefer: Mm hmm. 


Alison Leiby: Because like it, like my floors look different in a way that I’m like, well, that’s not just like, oh, Rizz is here. And there’s like some fur around. Like there had been other stuff going on that I was just not getting with my other shitty vacuum. And now I’m like, horrified, I guess at the filth I’d been living in. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, I feel that way about basically every surface in my home. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: I was trying to clean the, my kitchen floor. It’s hard to determine. Is this just the way it looks? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Or am I? Am I lacking in some fundamental domestic skill? That’s where I always take it like I’m such a failure. And then when—


Alison Leiby: I know. 


Halle Kiefer: TikTok— 


Alison Leiby: I feel like floors are like I know how to like. I won’t always put in the effort, but I know how to get other surfaces clean. I know how to do my sink, my bathtub, like I know how to do it. Like, do I always do it? No. But like, I know what the what the products and the scrubbing. Floors. I’m like, is this right? Like, I don’t know. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. I mean, that’s I guess no one will ever tell you. That’s like no one would come over and be like, you fucked up, and here’s how you do this differently. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, it’s true. 


Halle Kiefer: I would tell you, you fucked up. I wouldn’t be able to provide the other. 


Alison Leiby: Correct. 


Halle Kiefer: Part of the answer. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, that’s that’s tricky. And I feel like I’m being inundated with TikTok videos. It’s almost I feel like I know less about how to clean. I feel like I’ve seen things I’m like—


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: —This seems like it would eat a hole in your wall, you know what I mean? 


Alison Leiby: Right yeah. [both speaking] I’m like where do you get, where do you get that product? Like an industrial supply store? Like, I don’t feel like I can just, like, walk into Target and get most of the stuff I see on CleanTok, even though it’s, like what I absolutely want. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, I feel like the stuff they’re using, we would just reach in the bucket and we’d pull out skeleton hands like it would just be eaten all the way to the bone. But then I guess your floors would be incredibly clean. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. And like, this goes back to, like, I am going to get a deep cleaning service to come in and do a deep clean where they, like, wash your walls and your baseboards and, like, scrub your floor. And I’m just like, somebody else has to do that once, and then I’m going to ask them how to [laughs] not have to do this again. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, they love doing that. I think that’s like, teach me how to do this so I never call you again. They’re going to love that Alison. 


Alison Leiby: They’re going to love that. They hate making money. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: [laughs] What’s what’s horrifying over in your corner of Los Angeles? 


Halle Kiefer: Well, Alison I, I went to a burlesque show yesterday, and I have a lot of. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: I never attended them. I think of when I think of burlesque shows. I think, of course, the seminal Cher and Christina Aguilera film, which I saw alone [laughter] what theater was that? One of the East Village theaters. I saw it alone. I was drinking—


Alison Leiby: Oh. Yeah, yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And I sat in the back. I cried during Cher’s number. And—


Alison Leiby: I was surprised that the plot of that movie hinged on air rights laws. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh, yeah. When, they [?] that air rights shit. Yeah [laughter] that movies sucks so bad. I would do want to watch it again. And it—


Alison Leiby: Yeah. Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: —the scene where it’s torrentially raining in L.A., which I always thought was so silly. And then this year it torrentially rained in L.A. for weeks at a time. [laughter] So I was like, wow, okay. They were ahead of the game, maybe. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: But, you know, I’ve entered a new phase in case you’re near to the pod after we’ve joined Crooked. I came out last June, so I’ve entered a new phase of of being queer, which is I’m in a constant state of rage. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, sure. 


Halle Kiefer: As is my lesbian birthright. At specifically at the hetero patriarchy. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: And I’m not mad at straight people and I’m not mad at men. I’m mad at the system. So I just— 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: —want to make that very clear. And I mean that genuinely. We’re all caught up in this and we all have to work on it. But I’ll tell you, Alison, I went to, I was on a date at a specifically queer bar is mostly for the Sapphic community. Obviously, anyone could attend. 


Alison Leiby: Totally. 


Halle Kiefer: The burlesque show other than like the the main performer and her partner or their partner. It was so straight. And I was like, what are all these straight people doing in here? 


Alison Leiby: That’s so strange. 


Halle Kiefer: I agree. I was like, oh, a burlesque show at a lesbian bar. Basically, this is going to be wall to wall queers. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. What—


Halle Kiefer: —I couldn’t believe my eyes, Alison. 


Alison Leiby: Would you say that like, the performances also kind of drew from a more straight gaze or something like that? Like, did you feel like [both speaking] did you feel like the entire experience was overly overwhelmingly or was it like, these are straight women and their straight friends are here? 


Halle Kiefer: I would say the performances were a good mix. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: So I feel like some of it felt like, okay, we’re just. Not like not like, just stripping, but like, just of like, okay, we’re lip synching, but it’s certainly not for our lives. You know, we’re lip synching for. 


Alison Leiby: Sure. 


Halle Kiefer: Today. You know, it’s for the next hour. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And then other performances felt like they were people had a bit people had a look like people are I guess it’s like burlesque should be sex, sexual drag, right? 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: It should be as funny as, like, thought out as. 


Alison Leiby: Totally. 


Halle Kiefer: In my mind because I’ve seen drag. So it’s like if you’re—


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: —telling me this is drag, but I’m gonna see some naked ladies I’m on board. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Let’s do this. And I mean, to be fair, like I mean Sasha Colby won drag race as a naked lady. So I want to be clear. There’s plenty of naked ladies who do traditional drag. 


Alison Leiby: Totally. 


Halle Kiefer: But like burlesque if we’re doing it, like I want—


Alison Leiby: Specifically is that. 


Halle Kiefer: I want the, like, whatever the razzle dazzle. And I was like, there’s something about it. Whatever. I don’t need to, like, shit on these people. But I was like, I don’t want to watch this. I don’t wanna watch anything [?] gayer than this. 


Alison Leiby: Hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: And I also felt that way. I was trying to watch Sex and the City. Alison, you know, just getting ready for it that the upcoming second season.


Alison Leiby: Yes. Season two of Che’s big adventure. 


Halle Kiefer: Hell, yeah. [laughter] And, well, I could barely watch the original series cause it’s simply not there’s not there’s nary a drop of queerness. 


Alison Leiby: It is the least queer thing. 


Halle Kiefer: And I can’t do it. 


Alison Leiby: And there’s a and there’s like a queer storyline for Samantha for like two or three episodes, and it’s still like deeply un queer.


Halle Kiefer: Right. It’s. Yes. The straightest woman trying to have sex with a woman. And I feel bad because I love Sex and the City, but I just feel like I’m in a state where, like, I don’t want to see this. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: This isn’t for me. And so that’s I understand, I’m just you know, processing this. I always think of like myself as, like when I first came out, I feel like I was 13 and now I feel like I’m like 18. Like when you enter college, I’m like. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: This is my college rage of like—


Alison Leiby: I thought you were going to say like 50 [laughs] like—


Halle Kiefer: I mean. 


Alison Leiby: —you jumped right to being like, a, like, like curmudgeonly 50, like, I don’t like any of this anymore. Kind of like, over it. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, that’s where I’ll end up when I’m when I’m 50. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: I’ll finally be caught up with myself. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, yeah, yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: That’s enough time. But yeah, it’s just interesting. I feel like that’s also why I can’t get off Twitter is I just follow too many queer and trans people and I’m like, I just need a little bit of it of the discourse all day. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And I can’t. 


Alison Leiby: Especially when like, well, I think that what sucks is like, you’re promised, like it’s a queer bar. It’s like. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: A, objectively, like pretty queer or should be queer like performance style. And then it’s like, just very straight that like sucks, a like not. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: You know, a false promise. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. So again that’s no offense to the burlesque community, but I was like, this is I, I demand queerness in this space and I will not be attending. I’m sure I’m doomed. It’s LA. There’s so many burlesque shows that are LA. I don’t know.


Alison Leiby: Yeah there used to be a lot here too, and I feel like there was always a lot of like mixed, like burlesque and comedy. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. 


Alison Leiby: And it’s like that just like, doesn’t serve either performance style. 


Halle Kiefer: No I agree I have no interest in that. Like, I don’t know. It’s, yeah.


Alison Leiby: It’s it’s hard to pivot from somebody being like, oh, I was at Whole Foods the other day, blueberries cost more than a car. And then like a lady, like using tassels, to like, shake her tits around and you’re like, both of this is wrong. [laughter]


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Separately great—


Alison Leiby: For the space. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, but yeah. And then I always think of the burlesque community in the Chris Fleming, a very funny comedian, has a song about—


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: —polyamorous couples [laughter] and I believe the title is It’s Never Who You Want to Be Polyamorous, Who’s Polyamorous. And you’re just like, oh, these are straight couples. Obviously. I know plenty of queer polyamorous couples—


Alison Leiby: Sure, sure. 


Halle Kiefer: —who are fun, but it’s it’s like I should have known, by the way, you went on about how welcoming the burlesque community has been. And that’s why I kept thinking [laughter] is like that’s that’s what this is by and for. And they deserve their space, too. But it shouldn’t be in here. Get the hell out of here. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Not a lesbian bar like. [laughs] 


Halle Kiefer: Again. I mean, there’s plenty of lesbians there, but I’m like, there’s, there is the ratio. 


Alison Leiby: It’s just off. It doesn’t feel right. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. I mean, listen, when I go to a straight bar, I pretend to be straight. That’s the way it should be, you know? No, I don’t know. That was just like a moment of, like, I guess you could’ve just gone to a regular bar and not have seen this. But. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Now we know. Now we know better. Before we get started, we are being asked to plug our Patreon, which I guess we also didn’t explain. So basically we joined the Crooked network and we also separately, at least for the time being, have a Patreon 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: So the way it works is there are three different tiers, $5 this this is to support us and support our ongoing struggle with like living in reality. 


Alison Leiby: Yes, yes. 


Halle Kiefer: $10. You get that the support and then you get two bonus episodes a month that will also be on theme and then for $20—


Alison Leiby: Yes and no ads. You’re listening to no ads. 


Halle Kiefer: No ads, and you also get video. And so in case you’re watching this on Patreon, you can watch video of us just fucking serving looks. No, I, I just woke up.


Alison Leiby: Always wet. [laughs] 


Halle Kiefer: Always a little wet, always makeup smeared. 


Alison Leiby: A little wet. 


Halle Kiefer: And then for $20, you get all of the above, plus a ticket to our monthly live show, which is live. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Virtually on And I think we can announce this, since, we will be this is an episode that will be dropping we’ll be doing evil dead rises for the month of May. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, yeah so stay tuned. 


Halle Kiefer: Exactly we’ll promoting that on our socials and if you watch it you can also just separately buy a ticket to our live shows. It’s just this bit drunker is what I would describe. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And like longer. 


Halle Kiefer: Longer and drunker and more unhinged. So if you have any interest, you can check us out at. 


Alison Leiby: 


Halle Kiefer: Hell yeah. So check it out if you like this. If you you know, we have a large back catalog as you are probably. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Again if you’re new you’re going through it. But we have even more on Patreon so. 


Alison Leiby: There’s even more and we have promised that if we hit a thousand—


Halle Kiefer: Oh yes. 


Alison Leiby: —Patreon members, which we are like frighteningly close to doing.


Halle Kiefer: Very close, yeah. 


Alison Leiby: That we will go and record episodes and videos and content and stay overnight at the Lizzie Borden house. So we’re probably making that trip pretty soon. And if you guys join, like you’re just going to speed that process up and I’m sure you want to see us pull out a Ouija board in a house where a child murdered her parents with an ax. 


Halle Kiefer: Or did she? I actually don’t know. I think there’s some question.  


Alison Leiby: Yeah we don’t. Unclear. 


Halle Kiefer: But yeah, I will terrorize Alison or she will be decapitated live on camera. 


Alison Leiby: We’ll see. 


Halle Kiefer: So thank you all for everyone who’s part of our Patreon. Boy it’s been an interesting past year, I’d say, and we really appreciate you joining us and giving us your money and supporting, again, something I would be simply doing for free, to Alison. 


Alison Leiby: On GChat. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: If none, if no one was listening. God, I mean this idea started on GChat. It has I guess GChat still exists, but it was using it. Not us. If we’re not using and no one’s using it. Am I wrong? 


Alison Leiby: It’s true. We’re the, we’re the people. I feel like I still chat with one or two people when I’m just like doing fuck all and avoiding writing. So.


Halle Kiefer: And is one of those people Josh Gondelman? 


Alison Leiby: It is. 


Halle Kiefer: Friend of the pod and a wonderful human himself. 


Alison Leiby: Perennially on GChat. 


Halle Kiefer: God bless him. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: But yeah. Thank you so much. Thank you for being a part of our Patreon. And if you’re or considering it, go take a look. Take a gander. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, take a little peak. 


Halle Kiefer: And again if we get to a thousand. Alison will know a world of terror, the likes of which this planet has ever known. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. Cool. 


Halle Kiefer: So you got that going for you. 


Alison Leiby: Can’t wait. 


Halle Kiefer: So let’s. Let’s keep it going. It is, of course—


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Mommy issues month. Mommies. 


Alison Leiby: Mommies iss— Mommies. 


Halle Kiefer: Mommies. We’ve talked a lot about daddies on this podcast so we had to give mommies their month. Mommy issues—


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Hey, we all have them. 


Alison Leiby: I mean. 


Halle Kiefer: I don’t think it’s funny what people are like, oh, I have mommy issues or daddy issues. I was like a baby. You have two parents, you know, or more—


Alison Leiby: They can both fuck you up. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, you do have issues with both of them give me a break. [laughter] Come by. Let’s be honest here. But we are doing this week another fabulous David Cronenberg movie, The Brood. 


Alison Leiby: The Brood. 


Halle Kiefer: Which is interestingly based on his own divorce and custody battle with his wife. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. A little personal. 


Halle Kiefer: And it does I will say it is this came out in 1979, excuse me, written and directed by David Cronenberg. And there are elements at the beginning where I feel like they do tip a sort of like not necessarily a men’s rights, but sort of like hit on some themes that now have been appropriated as men’s rights. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. Yes.


Halle Kiefer: But I would actually argue that the movie is pretty evenhanded about what’s actually going on, which is more complicated, like it has a monstrous female, it has a monstrous mother. 


Alison Leiby: Sure. 


Halle Kiefer: But the reasons for that and the way that it happens to me, like I feel like this would be easy to say this was misogynistic and a lot of horror movies are. This, to me is more complicated. And I kind of appreciate it because if you’re making a horror movie about your ex-wife, it would be very easy to be recriminatory. I mean, that being said, we’ll discuss how you feel about how we how we landed it. 


Alison Leiby: Cool, cool, cool. 


Halle Kiefer: But yeah, so we’ll be doing The Brood. And before we begin, we also had to take, had Alison watch the trailer. Alison, what are your thoughts about The Brood trailer? 


Alison Leiby: I mean, absolutely chilling. I didn’t like it. 


Halle Kiefer: Mm hmm. 


Alison Leiby: And like the trailer is, you know, like it’s not a trailer. That gave me a real sense of what’s going on in the movie. So that’s even scarier because you’re just like, well, someone’s up to something and it doesn’t seem good, and a child seems like it was getting terrorized at one point. And I don’t like that. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. That’s the problem with mommy issues— 


Alison Leiby: Which now makes sense with the ties to his custody battle and divorce. 


Halle Kiefer: I will say mommy issues moth, I really shot my foot self in the foot here because I just really wanted to take a break from after we did political month, we did crimes of the future. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah a bit heavy.


Halle Kiefer: I’m like I need to take a break from kids and horror. And this is all kids. I mean, like because. To be a mommy. 


Alison Leiby: What are mommy is if there are no children. 


Halle Kiefer: I mean, and this is this is the question is what if what is a mommy if she has a different kind of child Alison? 


Alison Leiby: Oh, okay. 


Halle Kiefer: I just want to read, David Cronenberg has a quote “The Brood is my version of Kramer versus Kramer, but more realistic,” which I think, is fun. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: That’s very fun. And then we also take a baseline scary. Alison how scary do you find the concept of a brood? 


Alison Leiby: What is that? 


Halle Kiefer: A brood is [laughter] yeah okay I was gonna say it’s a, it’s birds. But as soon as I came to say it. Yeah. Here we go. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s a family of young animals, especially of a bird, so let’s say, because—


Alison Leiby: Oh okay it’s a collective noun. 


Halle Kiefer: And so it’s a little hatchlings and birds kind of just running around. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, very. 


Halle Kiefer: So it’s a little. Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Very. I don’t like things that can skitter. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh yeah. 


Alison Leiby: And I feel like they’re skittering. 


Halle Kiefer: Mm. We are skittering. We, we are scampering. 


Alison Leiby: Skittering scampering. Oof.


Halle Kiefer: There’s a lot of ducking behind doorways in this movie. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And then how scary do you find the concept of. Basically I’m trying to think how to sum this up. How how scary do you find the concept of a parent creating a child with a particular purpose?


Alison Leiby: Oh, never good. Never good. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. The idea and we’ll talk about that at the end because I think it connects to some some stuff in the news as as every horror movie does in terms of how we conceive of children as not simply their own being, but something to be created and controlled by their parents. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: Which I don’t know why we think that but is not true and has. 


Alison Leiby: They are human beings. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes, you can see again the conversation in America being about children is not not for no reason, and it is because our ideas of what children are are themselves very fucked up. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: But we’ll get into it and there’s a bunch of fucked up kids in this movie. 


Alison Leiby: Great. 


Halle Kiefer: So we’ll get into it. Before we begin, Alison, would you like to guess the twist in The Brood? 


[voice over]: Guess the twist. 


Alison Leiby: I’m going to guess that The Brood has a mother of it. 


Halle Kiefer: Mm hmm. 


Alison Leiby: And that all of the real terror is being directed by her like large bird. 


Halle Kiefer: Okay, great. She is the mother bird. 


Alison Leiby: Or whatever whatever creature is the mother of The Brood. 


Halle Kiefer: Mm hmm. 


Alison Leiby: Is going to is is the one that’s behind all of the evil that’s happening. 


Halle Kiefer: Okay, great. I love it. Let us begin ruining The Brood. [clears throat] We open on Dr. Hal Raglan. [laughter] He’s berating his patient, Mike, in front of an auditorium of people, which feels very seventies. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: To perform psychotherapy in front of an audience. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And this is also a critique, of course, of psycho psychotherapy about the process and about a lot of stuff we were getting up to that maybe we didn’t have to. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: You know, and he’s, of course, berating his patient. Mike. He is, they’re role playing. So Mike is playing his childhood self. Dr. Raglan is Mike’s father, and he’s berating Mike about not looking him in the eye. And Mike replies, I could if I wanted to Daddy. And is talking to calling him Daddy. Not in a fun way, unfortunately. 


Alison Leiby: Mm mm. 


Halle Kiefer: You know, in a deeply traumatized way. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And there are these there were the I only [?] where but these schools of thought that like the best way to get out of trauma is to replay it over and over again. And I think we’re understanding that there are diminishing returns on that. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, I don’t think that that’s. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, you’re not going to get out of it that way.


Alison Leiby: The path forward for healing. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And in case you were unclear whether or not Dr. Raglan’s methods were sound, he tells Mike, I guess you’re just a weak person. You get that from your mother. You’re so weak. We should have named you, Michelle. Weakness is more accepted in a girl also. No, it is not. I’ll say this as someone who was a girl. You are not allowed to be weak ever. 


Alison Leiby: At all. Ever.


Halle Kiefer: Ever. But of course, much like we talk about how queerness as a concept is created to also control straight people. The wo— The girl is it a concept used to berate boys, you know. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Like it is used in that same way? Like, what are you gonna be a girl? It’s like.


Alison Leiby: Right. And it’s like, that’s the worst thing you can be. 


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. Which I also think is like we talk about—


Alison Leiby: If you’re a boy. 


Halle Kiefer: Trans stuff it’s like that obviously is like part of it too, where it’s like. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: What do you want to be a girl? Like, the worst thing in the world. It’s like, okay, okay, well, a lot of us are. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: So I don’t know why we would talk about like this, but of course that’s part of it. So we see again, he’s berating this obviously mentally ill man in front of an auditorium of other people. And we see our protagonist, Frank, enter and he sits down to watch. And Dr. Hal is continuing to berate Mike. He says, I should call you Michelle all the time and treat you like a girl. I could buy you frilly scarves and frilly frocks and you’re going to be Daddy’s little girl. It’s like, again, femaleness as a way to—


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: —bully men into submission or into. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: I guess, more like tightening up. Mike screams. Of course. He’s like, I hate you, Daddy, because I love you and it makes you feel guilty. And doctor Raglan says, don’t tell me about your anger like a little girl. Show me. And Mike sort of hunches over and then tears off his shirt and all over his body. Alison, we see these horrible pus filled red welts. 


Alison Leiby: No. Why? No. Ugh.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And he’s sobbing. 


Alison Leiby: No pus. 


Halle Kiefer: And he says look at me, Daddy. This is what you do to me inside. And he collapses into Dr. Raglan’s hands, arms, and Dr. Raglan hugs and kisses him like a father would. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And. And then he tells them. I see Michelle. I see. And I wrote psychotherapy in a nutshell in the seventies. [laughter] Guys, we got to figure this out. 


Alison Leiby: This ain’t it.


Halle Kiefer: Not that, I mean, now it’s like, oh, you just can’t afford to go see anyone. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: So I guess that’s where we decided. 


Alison Leiby: Just get it from TikTok. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, thank you TikTok. The only. Oh, my God. Absolutely. Like our only medical provider. Prided medical information, but the session ends, and the guy next to Frank, he turns and he just blows a breath and he goes, that man is a genius. People are really wowed by this. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: Frank and the other attendees exit. Some, go to their cars and some of them go, they have like a bus that takes you, I guess, to back to the city. And they are at the Somafree Institute of Psychoplasmics, because this is a David Cronenberg movie so you know, you’re getting—


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: —a title like that.


Alison Leiby: Yes, love that. 


Halle Kiefer: And I do say it’s like if you were a white man with any authority, you could open an institute based on our history. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Like, statistically, your chances of having an institute is—


Alison Leiby: Very high. 


Halle Kiefer: [laughs] Yeah raises exponentially. Frank goes upstairs to the one of the guest rooms to collect his daughter, Candice, who I’m going to say is four or five. I’m going to say four. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: And they head out to his car. And she has this very what you she saw in the trailer, a signature red snowsuit. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: So like matching red and jacket and pants. At home, Frank is giving Candice a bath, and when she turns so he can wash her back, she’s covered in bruises. Frank, reasonably enough, freaks the fuck out. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, well, yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. So he goes back to the institute, and again, I think this is again to signal at least to the modern viewer. I hope this was the signal to the viewer at the time. Dr. Raglan is taking a shower. If you are going to go professional, you shouldn’t be showering at the institute. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: That’s like. 


Alison Leiby: You don’t. That’s an unnecessarily an unnecessary boundary to cross. 


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. Yeah. And he is wearing a robe and it’s just fully in a robe talking to his lackey Chris, which, again. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: If your psychiatrist is in a robe. I again like. Yeah, like. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: I think that it’s like, what is the checklist of actual, like, competent medical professional robe? You got to get out of there. 


Alison Leiby: Robe. Like I there is not. Unless you’re literally a burlesque [laughter] performer backstage. There is not a profession I can think of that that not even requires a robe, but where it’s even remotely acceptable to have one around. 


Halle Kiefer: [laughs] Exactly. If one of us were to walk into our office soaking wet in a robe and be like, okay, something’s gone wrong. 


Alison Leiby: Let’s take her to the hospital. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh you got to get the fuck out of here. Chris his lackey comes in and says, that guy Frank’s here, and he’s getting all passionate about the whole thing. Passionate about someone hitting his kid. Absolutely. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, that’s fair. 


Halle Kiefer: And Frank busts in. And he’s furious because basically he says, I leave her alone. Like, the situation is Frank’s ex wife, or soon to be ex wife, Nola is an inpatient living at the institute. Every weekend he brings their daughter and then she spends the weekend with her mother. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: So he’s like, either my ex-wife did this or somebody else staying here abused my child. I am not bringing her back here. And Dr. Raglan immediately starts downplaying his concerns. It’s like, I’m sure there’s some explanation for it. You know, I’m sure this is no problem. And you can’t you can’t not bring your child because your wife is undergoing extensive therapy. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: And we cannot change her therapy at this time, which all sounds very Scientology to me. 


Alison Leiby: Very Scientology. 


Halle Kiefer: Like, once you completely take away, like, this conversation—


Alison Leiby: Any agency. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: And it’s not like, oh, she and I understand that, like, mental health and, you know, other other physical health issues are not that different. But at the same time, like, it’s not like she’s hooked up to a thing that’s keeping her breathing. It’s like—


Halle Kiefer: Yes, yeah. 


Alison Leiby: —no, no, no. We can find a way around this so that the child isn’t in danger. 


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. Yeah. Frank says, well, fuck you, somebody hit my kid and it’s either again, my ex-wife or somebody else staying here, so I’m not bringing her. Dr. Raglan says separating her could send your ex-wife in over the deep end. And again, I questioned the medical ethics of a man telling that to someone’s ex-husband. [laughs] Like, just don’t say that. Don’t describe it in that way. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: It reminds me of, um, Louis, the chiropractor in Jacob’s Ladder, who tells Jake that—


Alison Leiby: Yes, yes. No boundaries. 


Halle Kiefer: His ex-wife is still in love with him. It’s like you can’t just see that while you’re doing something medical. But again, that seems like that’s what the seventies was. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, it feels like extremely blurred lines. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Across the board. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: But Dr. Raglan does say you have no legal right to deny Lola, Nola access to Candice, which is fair. I mean, she is. She is allowed to see her. But Frank says if you want to fight me in court, let me know. I’ll fucking go to court with you right now. I don’t care. And Dr. Raglan would again is in a robe, which might as well. He makes me just have his dick and balls hanging out. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Like it is the most insane. Inappropriate, distracting—


Alison Leiby: Unacceptable. 


Halle Kiefer: Unacceptable. 


Alison Leiby: Unacceptable. 


Halle Kiefer: And he said, I know that I was with Nola all weekend. I’m sure, I know she didn’t hit Candice, so there must be some other explanation. And again, Frank says, great, you give me that fucking explanation. Until then, my daughter is not coming back here, which seems fair. Like, yeah, you sort this out. I have not bring my daughter back here because something is going on here. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Unfortunately. Then Dr. Raglan calls Chris and says, prepare Nola. Her name is Nola Carveth Kelly. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: I know pe— Again it’s David Cronenberg. I mean. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, these are the most normal David Cronenberg names we’ve run across so far.


Alison Leiby: Yeah. This is I mean, this makes Crimes of the Future. This is like Sally, Mary. [laughs] Like. Compared to that.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Crimes of the past. And Frank goes to his lawyer and basically says this institute is a quackery. Psychoplasmics, is a fake field of science. This. Like my ex wife is—


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: In a facility that is not only hit my kid, but I don’t even believe in it. She’s been in there. I don’t think she’s getting better. I can even talk to her, you know? 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: And Barton says, I hear what you’re saying, and I think this probably happens a lot where it’s like Dr. Raglan is like a this is a licensed institute. He’s a real psychiatrist. And Nola checked herself in. She’s allowed to do that and then he said, which to me is the men’s rights part of it all, which is you’re going to have a hard time because the law believes in motherhood and that’s fine. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: As sort of an explanation why you immediately wouldn’t escalate this. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: But also the rest of the movie isn’t really necessarily about that or about the law. So I feel like it’s just put in there in a way that if you put that in a movie now, it would feel much more political. I don’t know if that makes sense.


Alison Leiby: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Not to excuse the point, but rather it’s like, that’s not really what we’re talking about.


Alison Leiby: Right. That’s not what this is about. Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Right. What it’s about is Frank trying to prove that this kind of psychiatry, it’s like psychiatric care is fictional. 


Alison Leiby: Fake. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. So it’s like, this guy’s a quack, much like Scientology or unfortunately, there’s a lot of different cults where people, like, make medical promises. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: Goddamn, Gwyneth Paltrow out here sucking down bone broth looking like the goddamn crypt keeper? You know, you just. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Everyone, unfortunately, if they’re vulnerable, could be put in the hands of people who do not have their best interests at heart. At heart. And, boy, this Doctor Raglan has some plans that are not in anyone’s best interests. And his lawyer says, that’s fine if you wanna do that. But next weekend, if you don’t show up, that Nola could have the police come and take your kid like you can lose custody for denying her custody. So all of this happens. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: In a matter of a week because Frank’s like, I have to fucking figure this out. 


Alison Leiby: Oof. 


Halle Kiefer: I’m not taking her back there. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: I will find evidence. So now he’s sort of that’s his project. And we see Frank pick, pick up Candice at school and you see all the kids sort of spill out of the playground. They all have a little brightly colored snowsuit because it’s in Canada and it’s during the winter. 


Alison Leiby: Cute. 


Halle Kiefer: It is really cute. And we meet Candice’s teacher, Ruth Mayer who sort of talks to Frank as an aside. And said I’d love to meet with you. You didn’t you weren’t able to make it to parent teacher. But I have some concerns and I think we’re supposed to think Candice is sort of suffering as school because of the divorce, because of her mother’s ongoing mental illness and trying to get treatment. Obviously you’re four, for the whole thing is very overwhelming. You know. Talk to your children again. Barely a concept now, I’m sure in the seventies revolutionary. But Frank takes Candice to see Nola’s mother, Juliana, who is fully drinking a glass with no ice of what I was, I assume, is warm scotch [laughter’ in the middle of the day. 


Alison Leiby: I mean, live out loud, girl. 


Halle Kiefer: Not even once ice cube? I can’t understand it. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: What are you a cowboy? [laughter] And she immediately tells Frank. 


[clip of Nuala Fitzgerald]: I guess, you know know what it feels like being a parent, being blamed for everything, to have the past distorted so you don’t even recognize yourself in your child’s version of the past that is. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s like, yes, distorted, remembered correctly. And that’s why your daughter’s in a mental institution. [laughter] Who is to say which it is? And there is this idea again that I think is the movie is questioning where it’s like you can never question your parents. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: Or. Like their authority, which is like, Yeah, girl, you’re getting blamed for stuff you’re obvious you obviously did and we know you did it, starting with the fact that you are drunk in the middle of the day. 


Alison Leiby: Yes.


Halle Kiefer: Like that’s not—


Alison Leiby: That reeks of guilt. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, like, exactly. And Frank says, well, you know, my daughter is only five, and so we’re going to work on that. I don’t think we’re going to get where you and Nola are at. And Juliana says she’s working on it right now. Believe me, and then looks at Candice with this level of like malice, which there is something to that, where it’s like parents who think of their children as like not competitors, but something where it’s like, you, like betrayal is like they’re going to betray me by being their own person. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Having their own thoughts and feelings, you know, like. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Adversaries or in some regard, except—


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: —one of them is a literal child, and the other one is adult. Grow up everybody. And she says, 30 seconds after you’re born, you have a past. 60 seconds after that, you start to lie to yourself about it. 


Alison Leiby: Oof. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s like the 60 seconds is also the amount of time it took you to down that fucking drink in the middle [laughter] of the day while watching your grandchild. 


Alison Leiby: Oh. Warm scotch ugh. 


Halle Kiefer: You know but that’s what the thing is like. She’s not accepting any blame whatsoever. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: For her role. And this is about like the cycle of trauma in Nola’s family and how this is going to be visited on her daughter and her ex-husband, you know, and Frank interrupts her and was like, okay, like, obviously he’s heard this before. Like, okay, that’s fine. But then he’s going to leave Candice with Juliana while he goes to try to research the facility, you know, and go to his actual job. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And he leaves— 


Alison Leiby: Keep everybody flush with scotch. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. And she tells her granddaughter, let’s let’s look at these old family photos. Let me just get a refill. She’s constantly getting a refill of there’s there is not there’s not a drop a soda. There’s not even an ice cube. 


Alison Leiby: Just scotch. 


Halle Kiefer: To break it up. 


Alison Leiby: Just scotch. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s she’s just downing scotch. Meanwhile, back at the institute, we see Dr. Raglan doing a session with Nola. Dr. Raglan’s pretending to be Candice, and he’s talking to Nola about her being hit. And he tells her, you hurt me, Mommy. And then Nola says, no mommies don’t do that. Mommy’s don’t hurt their own children. And Dr. Raglan says, oh, they never do? And of course, Nola, then has to be like, oh, right, I was abused. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: And by my mother. And so she’s sort of like she said, they’re fucked up. Those are fucked up mommies like mine was. And then he switches into her mother. So now Dr. Raglan is Juliana. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. So his entire. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Psychiatric practice is like role play of parenting? 


Halle Kiefer: It is improvisation. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. Great.


Halle Kiefer: It is horrifying to watch both just because it seems so unsound. And also because. Have you see improv? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s. And I did improv for years and I’m allowed to say that. 


Alison Leiby: Of course. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s insane. And then he so he’s playing her mother now and he’s like. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: No, Nola, I would never do that. I would never hurt you. Mommies never hurt their children. And she explode, and she explodes and Nola’s like you did, you beat me, you scratched me. So again, it’s like they’re repeating cycles of abuse. So it’s like, can she recognize within herself that this the cycle is repeating? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Because she’s saying to her own mother. You threw me down the stairs, you know.


Alison Leiby: Whew. 


Halle Kiefer: And Dr. Raglan says, that’s good. Show me your anger. Go all the way through it. To the end. Right to the end. Like get to the end of your anger. Let it out. Back at Juliana’s, Candice holds up a photo of her mother, Nola, who’s in the hospital with as a child with her mother, you know, and asked, why wasn’t I was my mummy in the hospital so much? And Juliana, who’s drinking at this point a fucking CamelBak of scotch. [laughter] She’s like, you know, when your mother was a child, you wake up with bumps, all of her skin, and the doctors could never figure it out. Meanwhile, Alison, we see that there is, I thought it was a dumbwaiter. It looks like it’s a delivery slot for orange juice and milk. I don’t know if that was ever a thing, but that’s what it looks like. 


Alison Leiby: Explain to me what that means. 


Halle Kiefer: So there’s a little door you open—


Alison Leiby: You know what a dumbwaiter is. But like, how is it so specific? [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: It looks like the milkman comes and opens a door in the side of your apartment in this case or house and puts the milk in and then closes the door. And then you open the door from the other side to get the milk. 


Alison Leiby: On the other side. Okay.


Halle Kiefer: I don’t know why that makes more sense than just leaving the milk on your doorstep, I guess, so you don’t knock it over. 


Alison Leiby: It’s protected. 


Halle Kiefer: And it does look delicious. And I absolutely would love to receive milk that way. But also I thought was a dumbwaiter. It’s like as soon as you see a dumbwaiter in a horror movie there’s—


Alison Leiby: You’re like, well, someone’s coming up and down with just a head.


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. Yes, severed head.


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And so it’s again it’s a delivery hatch for orange juice and milk and we see a, basically a child size fist just punched the door open from the outside [laughter] and the child’s arm is wearing Candice’s snowsuit. So it’s a snowsuit exactly—


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: —like Candice. So this is, again, being like a little child avatar who was here to, like, kick ass. Juliana hears it, but thinks, oh, I must have stacked the dishes and they fell over. Let me go check and while there, going to freshen both of our drinks. Meanwhile Candice is drinking like milk. You know what I mean, it’s like I’m going to make us another cocktail. [laughter] It’s like, girl. 


Alison Leiby: Enough. 


Halle Kiefer: You have to watch a five year old child. [laughter] Unfortunately, as she walks to the kitchen, she hears glass shattering. It sounds like something or someone is running across her kitchen counter. 


Alison Leiby: Okay, we don’t love it.


Halle Kiefer: And Alison, we see a tiny, wizened hand. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: Grabbing a meat tenderizer. 


Alison Leiby: [gasps]


Halle Kiefer: Which makes you think. How hard did meat used to be? 


Alison Leiby: I mean—


Halle Kiefer: I’ve never owned a meat tenderizer. 


Alison Leiby: I’ve never owned one. I’ve the only time I’ve ever really needed one is to make like thin chicken cutlets. And you could just buy them thin now, like you don’t even need to, you know [both speaking] pound out a breast. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. I think you should have do a little work. You should have to chew a little bit, America. You know what I mean? 


Alison Leiby: A little bit. 


Halle Kiefer: And Juliana walks in the kitchen is wrecked, there are dishes smashed, cereal spilled everywhere, and there’s a broken window. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: She looks up, Alison, and sitting on top of the fridge wielding the meat tenderizer is a child, sort of. And we don’t see it directly. We just see it’s sort of outline and it leaps on to Juliana and it takes to be tenderizer and it brutally beats sort of death. 


Alison Leiby: Great. 


Halle Kiefer: Unfortunately, poor baby Candice then has to come in and discover her grandmother’s dead body. 


Alison Leiby: And drunk. 


Halle Kiefer: And she was drunk on top of it. 


Alison Leiby: I mean, imagine being drunk and like, a small thing bludgeons you to death. That’s scary. That’s even more confusing. 


Halle Kiefer: Okay. But I would argue at least at least you’re a little you get a little buzz on. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, right. You’re kind of like loosey, goosey. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s like how drunk people are more likely to—


Alison Leiby: Survive a car crash. 


Halle Kiefer: Survive a car crash. Yeah.


Alison Leiby: Because they’re not as, like, rigid. 


Halle Kiefer: Now, I don’t know what the statistics are for surviving a child—


Alison Leiby: Pulverization.


Halle Kiefer: Pulverization. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: But the statistics are not in her favor. 


Alison Leiby: No, she’s gone. 


Halle Kiefer: And we see the Candice look up, looks up and sees there’s a child. The child creature is holding onto the banister and it runs upstairs, leaving these bloody tiny handprints below. We see Frank arrive at work. He’s an architect. It’s been a minute since we’ve had these seminal men’s horror movie—


Alison Leiby: Yes. Architects. 


Halle Kiefer: —representative represented, architect. And Frank arrives at the apartment building, and just then he gets a call from Sergeant Markle, who you can go ahead and picture as Meghan Markle. It’s not, but it’s just kind of fun. 


Alison Leiby: No that’s more fun though. 


Halle Kiefer: If that adds something for you. 


Alison Leiby: It does. 


Halle Kiefer: Unfortunately, they tell him that a police officer, I guess, saw the broken window as he was going by, goes inside and finds Juliana dead and Candice asleep in bed. 


Alison Leiby: Oh. 


Halle Kiefer: And he says, You know, I’m having a talk to Dr. Birkin our child psychologist here at the police station. And, you know, of course, Frank immediately panics and thinks. Well, did she see it happen? Is she acting unusually? And he’s like, no she’s acting calm and cool, a little too cool. Alison, they think that baby might have did it. 


Alison Leiby: [gasps]


Halle Kiefer: So my question to you is, what would you do? 


[voice over]: What would you do? 


Alison Leiby: I mean, let’s get that baby questioned. You know, let’s let’s see what what she saw, what she knows. And then. Keep everyone locked in separate rooms and facilities, and then no one gets to see anyone and no one else has to die. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: Great. And that’s I mean, it seems like that’s what we’re trying to do in society. It’s not working out great, but I guess it’s hard to, as a parent, know what you’ll do in any particular situation. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And this is one where my immediate instinct would be just to fight the police on everything. Like I would just be like— 


Alison Leiby: I mean, obviously. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, but then you look more guilty and then sort of that’s that’s a difficult thing, especially because it’s one of just the beginning of the murders in this film. But we see Sergeant Markle is talking about the brutality of the crime. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And he says it didn’t seem like an interrupted break in or say a rape murder. It’s like, wow, just to have that that phrase thrown out—


Alison Leiby: That phrase is tough. 


Halle Kiefer: Just a rape murder. 


Alison Leiby: It gives me like obviously it’s it’s the same as like a murder hornet. You’re like, ah [laughs] enough. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: This is too much


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. It’s bad enough a rape murder. And I had the captions on it was rape hyphen murder. So and also just unfortunate that that’s just a category of murder. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s just hard to hear. 


Alison Leiby: It’s a little subset of horror. 


Halle Kiefer: [laughs] And they started asking him did anyone, did she have any enemies? This seems particularly personal. And Frank says, well, Juliana had a series of lovers, but I never met them, which I do think is cool. And she said her ex is her ex-husband is Barton Kelly, who is Nola’s father. He works for the government in Halifax, but they’ve been divorced for ten years and he doesn’t live here, you know, so I don’t think it would be him. And Dr. Birkin comes in, the child psychologist says, okay, yeah. So your kid absolutely saw this murder, but now she’s so traumatized that she has retroactive amnesia. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: She doesn’t even remember going to her grandmother’s, let alone seeing anything. So it’s important that you get her to try to talk about it. And Frank’s like and again, this is something we talked about, like, is it better to confront your trauma and talk about it? Or is it better to, as we would have in the seventies, just bottle everything up and teach your child that the horrible things, if horrible things happened, you never speak of them. But there is a pushback on that, Dr. Birkin says, I’ve seen children with ulcers as bad as adults from unprocessed trauma, and I think we don’t we now know that ulcers are just bacteria. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. So it’s a bacteria. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. It’s not like from like, it’s not your body, like making something out of contained stress and anxiety. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: In the way that we used to be like, oh, I’m so stressed out, I have an ulcer. It’s like, well, that’s probably connected to some things that are happening in your life that then— 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. 


Alison Leiby: —allowed bacteria to grow in a space. Not necessarily that like your work stress is coming out of your stomach hole. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: Right. Yeah. And we do feel a lot of our emotions in our stomach. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: So it would make sense that it’s like, oh, no, my stress feels like it’s in my stomach. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: It must be causing but it’s like, stress does have physical effects on our health. You know, so it’s it’s six of one half dozen of the other I suppose. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Frank takes Candice home to put her to bed. She’s. She. She can’t even talk. And I just feel so bad because she’s such a little tiny bean. 


Alison Leiby: I know. 


Halle Kiefer: She’s such a little baby. And so again it’s like, not that I want a nine year old to have to go through this, but have a four or five. Like a five year old go through it— 


Alison Leiby: Oh. So tiny.


Halle Kiefer: And it’s on TV. And so the phone rings. He runs to get it after putting her down and he misses the call. And we see the person calling is Nola, his ex wife, and we see Chris the lackey is hanging up the phone out of her hand and she says, is something wrong? Something feels wrong. Something is absolutely wrong. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: But Dr. Raglan appears and then he sort of he enters an he immediately is like it’s daddy. Like doesn’t even, there’s not even a second to acknowledge anything could be wrong. Immediately we’re back into the role play. And now he’s playing Nola’s father Barton. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: Who we’re going to meet in a minute here. And she’s like, Frank despises me. He’s trying to take Candice away from me so I’ll never see her. And Dr. Raglan, you know, again, pushes back is like, well, what if he doesn’t want to see her hurt? What if what if actually what he wants is for the best for your daughter? The same way that I, as your father, protected you as a child. And she says, no. And Dr. Raglan again pushes back, says, no what? It’s like you didn’t protect me. You didn’t protect me, Daddy. And you should have. And again, now she’s unleashing this intense rage at her father, where she’s like, you shouldn’t have looked away when she hit me. You should have stopped her. And she says, which I think you know, anyone who suffered abuse, like that’s at the bottom of the question is well didn’t you love me? Like, why didn’t you step in and do something you saw. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: She threw me down the fucking stairs, you know. And unfortunately, cause Raglan’s not her actual father. He doesn’t really have a response to that. Back at home, we see that Frank is documenting the the bruises on Nola’s back with a Polaroid to, unfortunately build a case as part of the case against the institute like she was there. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: This happened. Fuck this. I have this evidence, you know, which unfortu—


Alison Leiby: Yes. Here’s a photo. Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And I feel so. So, like, I am so sorry to anyone who’s ever had to do anything like that. Like, that’s so horrifying. 


Alison Leiby: Horrific. 


Halle Kiefer: Building a fucking case to prove something like that happened. 


Alison Leiby: Mm. 


Halle Kiefer: So now it’s time to plan their grandmother’s funeral. So it’s like [laughter] and they go to the airport to pick up Barton, who is Candice’s grandfather, so they can plan the funeral. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: Like her parents are still alive, they’re going to want to come in, her brother’s going to want to come in. You know, we could do it this weekend, you know, But he’s staying in a hotel, but he’s thinking about going back to the family home, which is where Juliana lived. So she stayed in the family home after they broke up. It’s the family home where Nola was raised. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And he has not been back there, you know, and but it’s you know, it is furnished and empty. And he’s already like, going back there is gonna be really hard. I don’t know how I feel about it. And Frank’s like, I’ve got a lot to deal with right now. [laughter] I can’t take on your shit. 


Alison Leiby: No, his plate is pretty fucking full. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: Like I know you were my ex father in law, but I’m going to need you to handle yourself for, like, two minutes here. Frank goes to a residential facility to see one Mr. Jan Hartog, who is a former patient of the Somafree Institute of Psychoplasmics. And we see Jan is rolling around on the ground in his room. It looks like it’s sort of like a I don’t know, I don’t wanna say halfway house, like a residential facility for people to stay after they leave—


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: You know, like an in patient—


Alison Leiby: Another institute or a. Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, like a rehab. But you’re just it’s just living like in dorms sort of. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And so he’s rolling around on a mat with a towel around his neck, and he’s telling Frank who’s who, you know, is kind of flummoxed about what to do. He says people talk about blood, but no one talks about the lymphatic system. Blood has the heart to pump it, but there’s no muscle that pumps lymphatic fluid. So it only moves when we exercise. And if you have a problem with your system, the whole thing gets fucked up. And basically he’s blaming Dr. Raglan for fucking up his lymphatic system. 


Alison Leiby: Okay.


Halle Kiefer: And Frank says, okay [both speaking] well, it’s like well, my wife is in the institute and her I want to sue him for psychological damages. But you sound like you have physiological damage, you know. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And they sort of chat and we find out that their lawyers are friends. So Jan is working on a patient class action lawsuit against the institute. And Frank, you know, is still there sort of communicating. And Jan says, you know, you know, give him a little more time with your wife and she’ll have physiological damage, too, I promise you. 


Alison Leiby: Oof. 


Halle Kiefer: And he can we see Jan pull his neck towel down, revealing what looks like a sea anemone. 


Alison Leiby: What? 


Halle Kiefer: Like growing out of his throat. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: It it is a Cronenbergian representation of lypho— Lyphosar— Sorry, lymphosarcoma which is of course cancer of the lymph system. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: And it’s spreading. And Frank in a way that makes this the most grounded [laughs] David Cronenberg one of them is like, you’re going to really blame that guy for this? 


Alison Leiby: Fair. 


Halle Kiefer: And your doctor thinks you can prove that in court? I was like, I can’t remember a movie we watched where anyone’s asking—


Alison Leiby: Those. 


Halle Kiefer: Reality based questions, like that.


Alison Leiby: Yes. Right where it’s like, that’s not this. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Like, that’s how this works. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. So that’s kind of a fun twist on his to be be more grounded in this movie I thought was really fun and Jan’s like, no, I don’t think I could prove it. It’s like metaphysics. I know it happened, but I can’t fucking explain it. But what I want—


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: —to go to court for is I want to torch this place’s reputation. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Whether, I could lose. But I want everyone. I mean, now they didn’t have Google, but basically, like if you were to Google the name of this institute, it’s this fucking lawsuit. 


Alison Leiby: This, yes. 


Halle Kiefer: So it’s like I want as many people on it as possible and fuck, I want to ruin his name. And I was like, that’s actually very smart and what you have to do if. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: That kind of shit happened. It’s like, yeah, I might lose. That’s how the legal system is set up. 


Alison Leiby: But just getting it out there as like a question for people will—


Halle Kiefer: Exactly, deter people. 


Alison Leiby: —end up bringing it down. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Frank is thoroughly weirded out by the whole conversation and leaves. Meanwhile, we see Barton. The grandfather has driven to the institute to try to tell Nola that her her mother has been murdered. She doesn’t even know yet. And he is drinking in his car. So he is also drink, much like—


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: —his ex-wife, drinking. Again, like you said, the guilt of what they’ve done and what level of denial they have. And he’s drunk. He gets out and he accosts Dr. Raglan and Chris as they leave the institute and says, I need to tell Nola her mother has been murdered and Dr. Raglan refuses. He says Nola is in a critical phase of therapy. And Barton, of course, both being drunk and being an enraged grandfather, grabs Raglan’s lapels and shakes them like, if I don’t hear from my daughter by tomorrow afternoon, I’m coming to check her out of your fucking facility. And Chris says, do you want me to like call the cops? [laughter] As Barton drives away and Dr. Raglan says, nah he’s drunk. Don’t worry about it. We’ll be fine. Meanwhile, Frank goes to pick up Candice from school and invites the teacher. Ms. Ruth Mayer, over for dinner. She’s also a smoke show. So I think this sort of like, oh. 


Alison Leiby: Good for her. 


Halle Kiefer: Is this perhaps another chance at love? Yes. A lot of people are being murdered, a lot of mayhem, but you never know. 


Alison Leiby: But still. You could be hot and people could be murdered. Those two things are not exclusive. 


Halle Kiefer: I mean, that’s isn’t that the way of the world. You know, what I mean. 


Alison Leiby: It really is. 


Halle Kiefer: The only thing keeping us going is hot people. And she tells him at dinner, at his home, he says, basically, every time we have any free time, Candice wants to play mother daughter. So she wants me to be her mother. And they talk about, you know, sort of—


Alison Leiby: The teacher says that? 


Halle Kiefer: The teacher said that, and she’s like, I just want to check it. I know her. Her mother is in some sort of institute [laughs] and I just wanted to let you know, it seems like she maybe she needs more support. And Frank says, yeah, I really sort of realizing it’s sort of the mistake of my marriage. And I think, looking back that Nola married me for my sanity. And that was what was appealing about it. And it did—


Alison Leiby: I would marry a man if he’s sane. 


Halle Kiefer: I mean—


Alison Leiby: I have yet to meet one, like. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, as somebody who will never date a man again. I’ll say. It does take a minute. It takes a minute. It takes a village. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: To find a man to marry for his sanity. 


Alison Leiby: With sanity. 


Halle Kiefer: And I want that for you, Alison. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, sure. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s going to happen. 


Alison Leiby: I got Rizz. I’m fine. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. So the phone rings. It’s Barton. He is, of course, drunk as hell, and he’s back at the family house. So Juliana’s place, which is still a crime scene, like there is tape everywhere. 


Alison Leiby: Right, right. 


Halle Kiefer: There’s literally the outline of her body taped onto the kitchen, kitchen floor [laughter] and he’s just in a stupor. He’s so he’s like, I’m so depressed. Like, I you know, he’s he’s spiraling. And Frank, of course, is thinking, please, I just have so much going on right now. But he says, I want to go drive to the institute tonight to spring my daughter out of there and I want you to go with me. So we’ll go as soon as you get here. And Frank says, okay, I’ll come pick you up. But really, he’s just going to pick up and bring him home. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: He doesn’t want Barton to be driving drunk. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: To the institute. 


Alison Leiby: Right fresh off of, like, a huge, like, life altering trauma. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And literally, we see Barton, like, on the floor, like, running his hands—


Alison Leiby: No, no. 


Halle Kiefer: —along the body, the outline of the body. I know. So he’s much, like—


Alison Leiby: We’re not going pranking tonight, like, that’s not happening. [laughter]


Halle Kiefer: And Ruth says, If you want me to watch Candice, that’s totally fine. He says, it’ll be 45 minutes. I’ll drive there and come right back. Also, if you want to read this book. And he gives her Dr. Raglan’s book, which is called The Shape of Rage, and sort of an introduction to psychoplasmics. And he leaves. And meanwhile we see Barton, he’s sobbing. He’s like going up the stairs and he collapses into Juliana’s bedroom and he’s sobbing and apologizing. He’s like, I’m sorry, Juliana. I never meant it to be this way. And unfortunately, Barton, if you think you’re sad now. 


Alison Leiby: Oh boy. 


Halle Kiefer: We see a little hand start crawling. 


Alison Leiby: Not a little hand. 


Halle Kiefer: Crawling out from under the bed Alison. 


Alison Leiby: Ah. 


Halle Kiefer: Wearing that signature that fire red coat, and it reaches up onto the side table, grabs a heavy glass paperweight. 


Alison Leiby: They’ve got too much stuff for murder around this house. 


Halle Kiefer: I don’t yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Meat pulverizes, heavy, blunt objects like.


Halle Kiefer: I’m looking around, I guess probably like the the microphone arm is the only thing you could beat me to death with in this room. Oh no I have my tool box.


Alison Leiby: Yeah like I have kitchen stuff. It’s all in drawers. It’s all away. Like nothing’s just, like. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Out for small hands to grab. 


Halle Kiefer: And this small hand makes quick work because this he just motherfucking beats him to death. 


Alison Leiby: Ah oh no. 


Halle Kiefer: I didn’t mean to gender, the child. I don’t know what you know. I think these this child transcends gender. They he Barton is beaten brutally to death with—


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: —this glass paperweight. Unfortunately, this time when Frank makes it there and finds Barton’s corpse again brutally murdered, he sees the child leap out from the shadows of the bedroom, and we get our first look at its face. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, no. 


Halle Kiefer: And it looks sort of like a distorted mask of a child over a child’s mask. 


Alison Leiby: Oh. 


Halle Kiefer: Over a child’s face. 


Alison Leiby: Great. 


Halle Kiefer: And it hurls the paperweight at Frank—


Alison Leiby: How large? 


Halle Kiefer: It’s the size of a child. 


Alison Leiby: The size of a child like the size of the other child. Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. So not very big. Hypothetically. If I’m like, if you were to kick this child really hard, it would fly across the room. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And nobody does. And it makes you I just think people have to be prepared, as we discussed before, if they’re an evil child, you have to physically fight the child—


Alison Leiby: Yeah you have to fight a child and you can and you just need to get over the mental block of I shouldn’t kick a child across the room because you’re correct, you should not. 


Halle Kiefer: Right. 


Alison Leiby: But if it’s an evil little thing that’s already killed two adults, I think you can. You can put yourself there. 


Halle Kiefer: It hurls the paperweight at Frank so hard it goes into the drywall. And then he’s just brawling with this little bastard who almost strangles him. But then finally lets go and just falls to the floor and dies, which is also baffling. 


Alison Leiby: That’s strange. 


Halle Kiefer: At the police station here, obviously, the police came and again cordoned off the crime scene again. And the detective tells Frank that the the child was in the house the entire time. So he’s probably hiding under the bed, hiding in the bedroom. Meanwhile, Miss Ruth’s Mayer answers the phone at Frank’s place, assuming it’s Frank calling with an update. It’s, in fact, Nola calling from the institute. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: She’s like, who the fuck is this? And Ruth says it’s Ruth Mayer. She says, well, oh my God from the school? Are you having a private PTA meeting with my husband? 


Alison Leiby: So she knows she’s hot.


Halle Kiefer: You’re killing my family, you bitch. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, my God. 


Halle Kiefer: And just goes off. 


Alison Leiby: So she knows now? 


Halle Kiefer: She knows. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: She knows. And things are going from bad to worse. 


Alison Leiby: Oh boy. 


Halle Kiefer: Basically, it’s like this is couldn’t be a worse person to answer the phone and listen. For young people. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: This is the kind of call you could you would actually get before cell phones. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: You, the phone rang and you picked it up. It could be anybody on the other side, the other end. 


Alison Leiby: Anybody. You have no idea. 


Halle Kiefer: I you know, it just so unfortunately now Nola knows that Frank is moving on. Frank is perhaps also also she could just be babysitting Candice. Like that doesn’t seem insane. Like. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: Stepping in during a very trying time over in the morgue. The mortician does the autopsy of the child creature while Frank watches, which is, again, another hallmark of horror. Where it’s like that would not happen. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. No.


Halle Kiefer: That he would not be allowed in there, especially because this is not a actual child. Alison, This is a creature. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: It has irises, but no retina. Its tongue is too thick and too immobile for speech. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: It has no teeth, but it has a beak. 


Alison Leiby: It has a beak? 


Halle Kiefer: Like, have you ever seen a squid? Like a squid has a beak. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: So it’s kind of like that where, like, it has a mouth, but inside of it is a beak. 


Alison Leiby: It’s hard. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s hard. Yes. 


Alison Leiby: Hard about. 


Halle Kiefer: Hard mouth. No sexual organs. And it has a food s—


Alison Leiby: Oh my God. 


Halle Kiefer: They were trying to explain. Why did it suddenly collapse and die? Well, Alison, it doesn’t really have, it can’t digest anything so it has a sack of nutrient fluid between it’s shoulder blades.


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And once it burns through that and consumes that, it just dies of starvation. 


Alison Leiby: Like a fruit fly. 


Halle Kiefer: Like a fruit fly. So very fortunately, I guess it happened to die of starvation. Seconds away from strangling, Frank to death. 


Alison Leiby: What are the odds. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: He really lucked out, and then he said. And there’s something even more strange. 


Alison Leiby: What is—


Halle Kiefer: No, there’s nothing worse than that. 


Alison Leiby: Nope this is the strangest thing I’ve heard in a very long time. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh, okay. So I’ll have you guess. He said that’s not the strangest thing. The strangest thing is. Alison, what’s the strangest thing about this body? 


Alison Leiby: I’m going to, my logical guess is. Same bruises as the child. 


Halle Kiefer: That’s really good. That would have been great. No, it has no navel. 


[clip of Art Hindle]: The thing has no bellybutton. 


[clip of Joseph Shaw]: That’s right. And that means this creature has never really been born. At least not the way human beings are born. 


Alison Leiby: It wasn’t ever born. I hate that. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, hate. 


Alison Leiby: I hate that. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Hate to hear it. Alison, it wasn’t ever born back at the Institute. Nola is now convinced that Ruth Mayer is the reason her family is splitting out, splitting up again like look in a trying time. Who to blame? You know, Dr. Raglan, tries to push back at her, but she sort of is committed to this. Frank arrives home and Ruth says, hey, just, you know, you’re insane ex-wife called. I’m leaving Candice is upstairs bye. So she’s out. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And Frank tells Candice again, what can a five year old understand? But he tells her that the creature who killed her grandma, her grandma, oh, and also her grandfather is dead, and she hugs him. And I’m like, I guess that would be of some solace. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: But the concepts behind what is being said is so fucked up and compli— Like can a five year old understand what that means?


Alison Leiby: I barely understand it. And I’m almost 40. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: Right? Versus you’re safe and something horrible happened. But I will I will be here for you. 


Alison Leiby: We will keep you safe. And that’s and that is the thing too of like can you keep your child safe? Like, that’s the other horror of this movie of—


Halle Kiefer: Well, not in this environment. [laughs]


Alison Leiby: No, no, no, no. This is Frank’s doing his best. It doesn’t matter. You can’t come up against the brood, baby. Back over at the institute, Raglan reads about the second murder in the newspaper, and there’s a full on photo of the child creature in it. 


Alison Leiby: Imagine opening up the paper and seeing that and being like, I got to worry about this now. And inflation. 


Halle Kiefer: [laughs] I know it’s like for the love of God also, I’d be like, I don’t know that guy. That kids not going to my house. 


Alison Leiby: [laughs] Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: That’s somebody else’s problem. That could happen tomorrow. Alison. We wouldn’t be talking about it. Four days later, it’d be over. Twitter, would’ve moved on.


Alison Leiby: No, we’d be back on Scandoval. 


Halle Kiefer: Exactly like it would be like, yeah, that makes sense. Like, oh, the alien stuff. It’s like, yeah—


Alison Leiby: Oh yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Who the fuck? What can we what can we even do with that information at this point? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. Nothing. 


Halle Kiefer: What would you do with— 


Alison Leiby: Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.


Halle Kiefer: And he tells Chris the lackey, everyone out of the institute now. They’re emptying all the patients out of the facility because now we are understanding from his reaction he recognizes what this is and he wants to start hiding what is happening in a more overt way. So he’s kicking all 27 residents out of the institute. And Chris says, oh boy, Mike’s not going to like this. Mike being the guy from the opening with the daddy issues. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, well. 


Halle Kiefer: Which I did think was funny to be like, oh, Mike’s going to have a hard time. It’s like yeah he was already—


Alison Leiby: He’s already having a hard time. [laughter]


Halle Kiefer: And Raglan says, then do it gently. And when Chris goes to leave, to kick all of their patients abruptly out of their care. Raglan opens his desk drawer. Baby, and there’s a gun inside. 


Alison Leiby: Obviously. 


Halle Kiefer: Alison, please tell me who will survive this film. 


[voice over]: Who will survive? 


Alison Leiby: I think Dr. Raglan is definitely going to die because he’s doing something wrong. So he should. 


Halle Kiefer: We’ve got Nola. The ex wife.


Alison Leiby: Nola. I think Nola will die. Frank will survive. Candice. Candice is the kid, right?


Halle Kiefer: Yeah Candice— 


Alison Leiby: Will survive. I can’t. Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh, we got Ruth Mayer, the, the teacher. 


Alison Leiby: I think Ruth is going to survive and end up with Frank. 


Halle Kiefer: Okay, great. And that’s pretty much it, because we got the other patients—


Alison Leiby: Yeah. There, there’s some other folks floating around, but they’re not. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Mike, I guess, is probably not long for this world. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: We see a scene of Mike pleading with Chris as they’re just loading all the patients on the bus, which again, is also like a question of like de institutionalization. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: When you put people out of an institute, even one that is clearly fucked up. Where do they go?


Alison Leiby: It still is destabilizing and. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And so Mike is pleading with Chris, like, please don’t make me on the bus. But of course, Chris forces everyone to. And the next day, Frank hands over to Jan and he’s really excited about the institute emptying out because he thinks that’s that’s evidence that they like some they know something is fucked up. So we can like this is going to be good for us. All these patients will want to talk to us about bringing a lawsuit like these are—


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm yeah yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: —twenty something more people ready to sign on. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, yeah, yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: In fact I have one right here. It’s Mike. [laughs] We get a little more Mike, you know. Unfortunately— 


Alison Leiby: Good for Mike. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. More screentime. Better pay for the actor who played Mike. And he tells Frank, basically, Nola is the only patient that’s going to be left at the institute. Frank says, why would why would he not also empty her out of it? Like, why would she be the one? And Mike tells Frank, Nola’s the queen bee, she’s a star. He’s the one she’s interested in. She was born to prove psychoplasmics was what did what did Dr. Raglan call it? The ultimate therapeutic tool. 


Alison Leiby: Ultimate feels wrong. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, ultimate. Whenever—


Alison Leiby: Ultimate feels very. End of the line. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. He asks Frank while I’m here, would you be my daddy? My real daddy rejected me. My surrogate daddy rejected me, and nobody did it better than Dr. Raglan. He knows that I’m addicted to him and he doesn’t care. So will you be my daddy? 


Alison Leiby: Oh. 


Halle Kiefer: Jan says. Anyways, everyone has been thrown out of the institute except your your wife. And Frank says, but why? And Mike screams because Dr. Raglan wants to be alone with your wife. Like do I have to spell it out with you? For you? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. What do you think is going on in there, bro? 


Halle Kiefer: Nothing good. 


Alison Leiby: That’s for sure. 


Halle Kiefer: Like whatever it is, it’s bad dude. Back at the institute, we we know it’s gonna be bad because Dr. Raglan is inspecting what I would describe as a nearly windowless barn. 


Alison Leiby: Oh cool. 


Halle Kiefer: With a, with one window that is shattered. Something clearly has escaped through the glass. 


Alison Leiby: Oh I’m sure wizened little creatures that were never born, never hang out in windowless barns. [laughter]


Halle Kiefer: It’s just good that the property came with a windowless barn— [laughter]


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: It really worked out for him and his practice, and he’s so distraught by seeing the window that of course, he takes out his gun. So in case  you weren’t clear how bad that side was. He now is wielding a gun against something that he knows is in there, right? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Frank takes Candice to school. At least she’s safe at school and sort of watches all the kids go inside while this other mom comes to talk, Wendy, comes to talk to Frank, and we see all the kids inside. And again [laughs] I don’t know why we are going to do a month of no kids in any horror movie. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Cause I’m just like, not mentally there right now. 


Alison Leiby: Child free month. 


Halle Kiefer: And we see all the kids like, take their coats off and get ready for the day. And everyone has a different snowsuit. Then we see two kids from behind. They’re not kids Alison. And we see them grab Candice and shove her—


Alison Leiby: What do they wear? Like clothes?


Halle Kiefer: They’re, they’re they’re all wearing snowsuits.


Alison Leiby: They’re all in the same. Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: They’re like, they look, they’re just different colors. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: So how the colors are chosen, do they generate the clothes? Are they just given the clothes? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah it’s like. More questions than answers for sure. 


Halle Kiefer: I guess. Well, we’ll talk about that at the end yeah. And they shove Candice in the bathroom. They then both grab mallets, clay mallets. You shouldn’t have mallets around in school, I think. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: Or anywhere outside of a place where clay is [?]. Well, I guess they are using clay. All right. Never mind. 


Alison Leiby: Okay fine. 


Halle Kiefer: You should have mallets in school. And they brutally beat Ms. Ruth Mayer in front of all of the horrified kindergartners who watch in silent terror as they beat her about the head. And finally, one little boy runs outside to find and finds Frank and Wendy who run inside and they find Ms. Mayer. And she is dead. Not only is she dead Alison, Candice, is missing. Frank has been outside for 30 fucking seconds—


Alison Leiby: It’s like a child’s gone. The hottie’s dead. What’s happening? 


Halle Kiefer: Back at the Institute. We see that Dr. Raglan has moved Nola into the first floor of the barn, basically. 


Alison Leiby: Great. 


Halle Kiefer: And he’s wearing like the fattest. You know like, I think in the nineties, too. I guess this was a seventies thing. Ribbed white turtlenecks. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. The seventies and the nineties, both dipped into this knitwear trend. 


Halle Kiefer: It looks like he’s like in a cocoon. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Like it’s the fattest, most ribbed turtleneck I’ve ever seen. [laughter] And he wakes up. He wakes up Nola, who tells him I had a dream. She said I had a dream that my daughter was coming back to me. And he asks what about Ruth Mayer, last time we talked, you. You seemed pretty upset about her talking to your husband. And Nola smiles and says you know, I must be doing really well because I don’t feel threatened by her at all. 


Alison Leiby: Hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: So, again, what does that mean? [both speaking] We’ll find out. Frank takes the police to a little studio where Nola and Candice, they lived for nine months after Nola left him. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: But of course, there’s no one there. And he’s trying to figure out, like, where would Can— He’s thinking that Candice just ran away in terror. So he’s like, I don’t know. She doesn’t know anywhere else. She knows here and my house and her home. And that’s it. Like there’s no other options. Fortunately, Alison we then see where she is. We see the two little child creatures, each holding her hand, just walking her down a snowy street. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And we see, like in the country like obviously towards the institute. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: And a truck drives by. It’s like these. If I saw three five year old’s holding hands like across a lane of traffic—


Alison Leiby: Walking alone. 


Halle Kiefer: —in a snowstorm because it started to snow. 


Alison Leiby: No, no. 


Halle Kiefer: You got to stop. 


Alison Leiby: No, you got to stop


Halle Kiefer: Back at home. I will say the only acting problem I had with this is that back at home, Frank is like make drinking coffee. He’s reading the paper. If my kid’s teacher was beaten to death and my child was missing, I would be vomiting. I would—


Alison Leiby: Is he not aware, he’s aware of those things?


Halle Kiefer: He’s aware of it to the point where he opens up the newspaper and I guess this was back when they did like a Morning Edition, Evening Edition. 


Alison Leiby: I mean I would search the paper for answers. 


Halle Kiefer: You know, you got to look I mean you got to look. 


Alison Leiby: There’s no Google. So.


Halle Kiefer: They even. But it’s the evening edition. So they have a Have You Seen Me? They were able to print a Have you Seen Me? of Candice. So that is at least in the paper. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: People are looking. There’s a knock at the door and it is. You better believe it’s daddy issues, Mike. Mike is getting more screen time. 


Alison Leiby: Hell, yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And he says someone’s following me. Someone’s always following me. And Frank says, okay, Mike, you got a you got a maybe reign it in here. But did you find out anything more about why they kicked everyone out of the institute? And Mike says, well, yeah, and it’s nothing to do with the kids. Frank replies, what? And Mike looks a bit at him like he’s a fucking idiot. 


Alison Leiby: Right. It’s like, where you been man? 


Halle Kiefer: He’s like, you know, the disturbed kids in the work shed, the ones your wife is taking care of. Luckily, Frank has no slouch, so he’s immediately puts—


Alison Leiby: [laughs] What?


Halle Kiefer: —two and two together. And he like shoves Mike into his apartment, puts on his coat and then speeds over the institute. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Because now it’s like, okay, they’re disturbed because of the work shed. I saw that kid who killed Barton, who was not a child—


Alison Leiby: No, nor a human.


Halle Kiefer: I can only assume everything. Everything’s happening at the Institute. I should just go there right now. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, yeah just get there and, you know, just see what plays out. 


Halle Kiefer: He parks on the road and then grabs a flashlight, comes in through the back, through the woods. So Dr. Raglan won’t notice him and he finds the I was calling it a barn, but I guess it is. It’s a barn. It’s two stories. They call it a work shed, but it’s bigger than that, you know? But Dr. Raglan finds him sort of casing out the work shed, and Frank confronts him. But Raglan tries to act like he’s crazy. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: And until finally, Frank says, they killed Ruth Mayer. And Dr. Raglan reacts to that like, oh, my God. Well, if they killed Ruth Mayer, then I got to tell you everything. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, God. 


Halle Kiefer: Like she was the third murder. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And he even says, like, I didn’t want to believe it. He says, I didn’t want to believe it, but now she’s killed Ruth Mayer. What about the other two people? 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: What are you talking about? 


Alison Leiby: They mean something. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, but it was just. It’s such a funny, like, well, you got me.


Alison Leiby: In that case. 


Halle Kiefer: And he says if they have her, Candice will be in the attic with them, but they will kill you if you go in there and try to take her. And Frank’s like, they’re just a bunch of—


Alison Leiby: Kids. 


Halle Kiefer: Kids with a lot of problems. Why would they kill me? Why would they like? Oh, I bet Nola’s loved being surrogate mother to a bunch of disturbed children and Raglan tells them, oh, no. 


[clip of Oliver Reed]: She’s not their surrogate mother Frank. She’s their real mother. 


[clip of Art Hindle]: I’m not gonna listen. 


[clip of Oliver Reed]: They’re her children, Frank. More exactly they’re the children of her rage. 


Halle Kiefer: And again, he’s like and I didn’t want to believe it, but now she’s killed Ruth Mayer. It’s like, okay, I guess if that’s the thing that broke the camel’s back and he tells her, he tells Frank, I will admit the bruises on Candice’s back, they’re from the children. And basically what happens is and we can probably intuit this by this point in the film, when Nola becomes enraged, the brood [lip trills] becomes activated. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: So they become enraged. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: So she was annoyed with Candice and the brood beat Candice. She was extremely enraged at her mother. One of the brood went and tenderized her—


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: —into the next life. And Frank’s like, okay, well, I’m going to go get my kids. So how about you fucking help me figure out how to do this, you piece of shit. He says, okay, we have to keep the brood calm, which means we have to keep Nola calm. Because if she becomes agitated, the brood will become agitated and kill you and Candice. So I want you Frank to go in and apologize to your wife. And ask for her to come back to you to keep her calm. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: I know, but then Raglan says I’ll go in and grab Candice, because if Nola’s angry, the brute is angry. And Frank says, I don’t think I trust you, Raglan. But Raglan says, does it matter? And that’s a very fair point. 


Alison Leiby: I mean yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: This is a no win situation. 


Alison Leiby: Right. Like, okay. Either way, there’s several people dead and some very disturbed children running around with murder in their brains. 


Halle Kiefer: We lost Ruth Mayer, one of our town’s finest educators. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: We don’t give a fuck about these other slobs. But to have Ruth Mayer killed by the brood? Unacceptable. And Frank goes to the main floor as Dr. Raglan takes it’s like an external wooden staircase to the attic. And he sees the brood is all asleep in their bunk beds. Which is I guess kind of cute.


Alison Leiby: Aw. I like that they have bunk beds. It’s like camp.


Halle Kiefer: I know. And they all have little mat— Like, you know, they actually have brightly colored snowshoes and then they have brightly colored like matching sweatsuits, which, is— 


Alison Leiby: Do they make noises? 


Halle Kiefer: Not really. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: They make kind of little— 


Alison Leiby: Because I know they can’t like, talk or whatever. But is there like a kind of [gibberish] going on or something? 


Halle Kiefer: No. And that’s an interesting conversation I bet they had. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: I think because at this point it would be so noisy. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And they’d be so doodly doodly. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: That I think making I mean, like—


Alison Leiby: Silent. 


Halle Kiefer: When the one was fighting Frank, it made some sort of fighting noises. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm of course. 


Halle Kiefer: But in terms of chattering or talking, no. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: They’re not doing that. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: They’re silent. Yeah, but the brood is all sleep and they’re all approximately the size of Candice. So he’s going through trying to figure out. Where? Which one is Candice? Without waking up any of the brood. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: Which is a funny, like a funny visual—


Alison Leiby: That’s fun. 


Halle Kiefer: —proposition. Frank goes in. We see Nola. She’s wear this really fabulous turtleneck, white robe and is sitting legs folded on a dais, dais. 


Alison Leiby: Got me. 


Halle Kiefer: Sort of just seated like a queen. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And he, so you he starts laying it on thick. He’s like, you’re the only woman in the world for me. But she tells him, isolation is part of my therapy. What’s happening to me is too strange for anyone in my old life to understand. So Frank says, so make me part of your new life. And she says, I don’t know if you can handle it. I’m in the middle of a strange adventure. Which, listen, as a woman hurling towards middle age—


Alison Leiby: Who isn’t? 


Halle Kiefer: —that’s how I feel about myself. 


Alison Leiby: Same. 


Halle Kiefer: And he says, then let me go with you. I want to go. She says, you do? Then look. And she throws open her robe and her body is covered in. 


Alison Leiby: No, no. 


Halle Kiefer: Like growing tumors, the largest of which is growing a full sized fetus in an ex—


Alison Leiby: Okay, got it. 


Halle Kiefer: An external amniotic sac. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: So it’s sort of a translucent sac. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. [laughter]


Halle Kiefer: A translucent bag [laughter] with a visible fetus. 


Alison Leiby: Fetus. 


Halle Kiefer: Roll, rolling around in there. 


Alison Leiby: Okay, so, yeah, they’re not born, but they are kind of generated by her. 


Halle Kiefer: That’s what I said I was like, wouldn’t it have an umbilical cord? It’s still in her. I mean, it’s like it’s attached to her body. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s feeding off of her in some way, but I guess then they have sacs. Lot of sacs in this movie. 


Alison Leiby: You don’t need to point out the the science that doesn’t work here. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: And that’s David Cronenberg. He’s he’s giving us exactly the information we need. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: We don’t. And then Alison, well, it’s time for that baby to be born. We see Nola been down and by open the amniotic sac, spilling blood and fluid all over her lap and pulls out a new brand new brood baby, Alison. And because we we’re already here, we might as well. She starts licking the blood off the baby like a dog would do to clean—


Alison Leiby: No, no.


Halle Kiefer: So she’s just lapping the blood up. 


Alison Leiby: Absolutely not. 


Halle Kiefer: Now, Frank’s been doing a good job of acting this whole time, but he has a reasonable disgust reaction. 


Alison Leiby: Good. Good. 


Halle Kiefer: And Nola sees this, and it’s like, yeah, you hate me. I repulse you. You are h—


Alison Leiby: This is repulsive. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. It’s like well, yes. Like you weren’t here because you love me. You’re here because you want to take my daughter from me. It’s like, well at this point yes, I do want that. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. Yes.


Halle Kiefer: It’s like before I didn’t. And now, yes, that is what’s going to happen. Alison. Upstairs, Dr. Raglan finds Candice in one of the the bunk beds and wakes her up. But unfortunately, he awakens the brood. And the brood is then agitated while because Nola is becoming enraged. Right? 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: Alison. They descend on Raglan, who has a gun and fully shoots at least two of the brood. [laughter] Just blows these kids away. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: But there’s simply too many. And they’re able to get him, they’re swarmed. 


Alison Leiby: There’s—


Halle Kiefer: You know, there’s. They swarm him. 


Alison Leiby: They’re in a barn of bunk beds. I mean. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s one man against a brood, and they tear him limb from limb. Alison.


Alison Leiby: Good. 


Halle Kiefer: Downstairs we hear Nola screaming, I’d kill Candice before I let you take her from me. [gasps] And again, the idea of a child as belonging to a parent. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Or part of a parent, rather than she’s her own person. That’s horrific. You know? 


Alison Leiby: Absolutely. 


Halle Kiefer: Meanwhile, Candice, she’s a smart cookie. She’s able to get into a closet and lock it, but then the broods are literally just fucking punching through the door. There’s soaked in Dr. Raglan’s blood. They’re pummeling. She’s screaming, panic. And he starts shaking, Frank downstairs starts shaking Nola and says you stop them, they’re doing what you want. You have to calm them down. And Nola smiles, and Frank realizes, oh, my God, you want them to kill her? You want them to kill her to punish me? Basically. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Unfortunately, Alison, he then, he wraps his hands around his throat and screams, you make them stop or I’ll kill you. And she screams, kill me. Kill me then. And basically it is a race between him strangling his wife. 


Alison Leiby: Nola. Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And in the attic, Candice screaming as the brood grabs her through the door and is dragging her through the hole they busted in the door. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And finally, Frank kills Nola and she falls to the ground and the screaming in the attic falls silent. He runs upstairs and the entire brood is dead and on the ground. But Candice is alive. Horrifically traumatized for the rest of her life. But alive.


Alison Leiby: I mean, how would you move on? 


Halle Kiefer: And he scoops her up and runs through the woods back to his car, and they drive away into the sunrise and he tells his daughter, we’re going home. But as they do, we look, we see that kid has a sleeve, is torn. And on her arm are bumps that appear that are rising on her skin. And the bumps are trauma. The Brood. 


Alison Leiby: The Brood. Wow. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. So I did this little segment where I connect this to the news. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: I’m trying to think of a title for this. 


Alison Leiby: We’ll work on it. 


Halle Kiefer: Something like life is a horror. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Or life is horror. And the thing I wanna talk about, again, these are heavy fucking duty topics, right? 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And I understand that we’re not going to use every episode. I just again, feel remiss. All of us have to be as politically engaged as possible. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And watching this, the thing that kept coming to mind, I kind of we don’t normally do content warnings, but I just want to make a content warning if you’re a trans person. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. Yes I know exactly what you’re gonna talk about. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: This is something that, like, it is so horrible. 


Alison Leiby: Horrific, yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: But it’s it’s it’s on us as cis people to talk about that. I don’t think if your trans. I don’t think you have to listen to this. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: I’m just flagging this is like it’s been a bad year. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: In news for trans people. So I just want if you are I just want to flag that. But yeah, the thing I want to talk about, which if you’re online at all, you probably saw is that basically there’s a representative in Montana, Zooey Zephyr, who has been censored by the Montana’s legislation. So she cannot speak. During this whole ongoing democracy, democracy and crisis moment where. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Republicans are basically forcing a trans legislator into silence about trans, anti [both speaking] trans bills. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And and also there’s all these I mean, like like Montana governor, the Montana governor, his son is non-binary and is like basically asking their father to reject these bills. Like, it sucks. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Like and so the example I wanted to use is that basically there is one of the representatives and I wanted to look up her name because she’s a piece of shit. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, drag the fuck out of her. 


Halle Kiefer: State Representative Kerri Seekins-Crowe. She is a Republican, represents Billings. So her I’m going to say daughter because her daughter has not transitioned. But this elected official gets up and makes a comment publicly, basically saying she would have had rather her daughter die by suicide than transition. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: This is I think both. I mean, we can all agree horrific. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, it’s one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. 


Halle Kiefer: It is to use your child’s pain as a political talking point and then to not understand that you are the villain. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: You are the problem. And also to offer a window into the dysfunction of your home. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: That you would say something. So if you’re saying it to us, the nation, you have said this to your child.


Alison Leiby: To your child. 


Halle Kiefer: In both explicit as explicitly as you have now, and I’m sure in a thousand different ways that you would then be so emboldened to talk about something like this and talk about your child like you should own them. And your their psychic pain is meaningless to you.


Alison Leiby: Right. That you control their body—


Halle Kiefer: Yes exactly. 


Alison Leiby: —and you control their identity just because they’re your child and not because they’re an individual of their own. 


Halle Kiefer: And there’s literally a quote. You know this because she made these quotes in March talking. I mean, there’s a million anti-trans bills in Montana, but everywhere else, obviously, and this representative said someone once asked me, wouldn’t I just do anything to help save her? And I really had to think. And the answer was no. And I think that there’s nothing else to say about Republicans on this issue. Fuck that. 


Alison Leiby: Fuck that. 


Halle Kiefer: Fuck them. 


Alison Leiby: Awful. 


Halle Kiefer: The and I think this to me, that’s why I wanted to talk about this movie is like there is this idea of like the child as something to control. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Something to not to, to cultivate or to help or support, but as something that if it if a child extends beyond your control or becomes something that you cannot approve of, it is on you as a parent to crush that. And I think, you know, like something like Juliana denying her abuse of her daughter. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: I feel like she’s just making it up. Can you believe these kids they’re making it up? It’s like that level of denial about what a horrible parent you are. This this this Republican is a horrible parent. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. Objectively. 


Halle Kiefer: Objectively a terrible parent. And also has made comments about her daughter still struggling years later. Right. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: So it’s again, like the idea of like, oh, this is a phase. That’s they don’t really believe that. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: They don’t actually give a fuck about—


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: —teenagers. 


Alison Leiby: They just think that that’s the time that you should still absolutely be in control of your own child as a parent and be making all of the decisions regardless of what your child is asking for, which is and will and will save their life. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And there is. I just want to bring that up because there is a deep and there’s a deep pathology in the Republican Party that we all can see. And a lot of it has to do with this idea that, like, you know, the woke mind virus, which basically means anything progressive, anything on the left, anything that is generally invested in making things place the world a better place. They think of as a contaminant and there was even some article or was like, where do these woke ideas come from? It’s like from abolition. Like, I don’t know. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s like from the term Jesus Christ. Like, from every relig—


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Like these are. 


Alison Leiby: Humanity. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And I think, I don’t know there’s something about it that to me really spoke to how far gone the Republican Party is. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: That you would say that publicly about your own child and think that that oh, that we’re supposed to hear that be like, you’re right. 


Alison Leiby: And be like correct. 


Halle Kiefer: Good. I’m glad that your child is fucking miserable. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And continues to be because you couldn’t handle it for a variety of different reasons. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Any who, children are their own people. We should allow them. 


Alison Leiby: Yes.


Halle Kiefer: Support them. And also like the idea like as a mo— For some reason. I think in a culture like we think like as if you’re a mother, your choices are correct. We have to move past that, too. We have too many mothers. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: In government, in this case, a white cis mother. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Who fundamentally is still beholden to these systems that control us too. Like, you know, like that, that that hurt every woman, hurt every person. But for some reason, like, well, I’m a mother, so my ideas about what the world should be for my child. 


Alison Leiby: Supersede like any safety and—


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Concerns that you would have. Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: So anyways, I just wanted to bring that up back to the movie. Alison, what are some fatal mistakes you think that someone may have made in the movie The Brood? 


[voice over]: Fatal mistakes. 


Alison Leiby: I mean, going to an institute like this to start with feels like not that you shouldn’t seek psychiatric help for things that you need help with, but boy, this wasn’t the one. [laughs] This is not. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And I think unfortunately, I guess we used to see it all the time. It’s like we are. I don’t know whether it’s a particularly American thing or just everywhere in the world. It’s like, man, if someone says they, they finally have the solution. We want to believe they do. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah we do, but they usually don’t. 


Halle Kiefer: They almost certainly do not [laughter] especially when they have some sort of new institute. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: Where they pretend to be your daddy and berate you in front of a crowd of strangers. 


Alison Leiby: No. That’s not medicine. 


Halle Kiefer: That’s not medicine. But could be a good time, depending on what you’re interested in— 


Alison Leiby: But it’s not medicine. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: It’s not trauma treatment. 


Halle Kiefer: And I think Juliana and Barton. Bad being bad parents. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: You know, like. And that’s why I do think that like, I understand how this movie might seem misogynistic, but I think we’re supposed to, like, Nola’s rage is valid. It’s that like that rage is perverted. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Into a horrific ends by a doctor who basically was facilitating this up until until he heard about Ruth Mayer dying. [laughter] He was he wanted this to happen. This was proof that he was correct. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: So he was willing to sacrifice anything. Her her rage is valid, but instead of dealing with it again, like all horror movies, it’s about trauma. 


Alison Leiby: It’s about trauma. 


Halle Kiefer: Trauma. Not dealing with your trauma. The ultimate fatal mistake. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah the ultimate fatal mistake across the board in every film. 


Halle Kiefer: And in every life. So And then where would you like to put the movie on the spooky scale, Alison? 


[voice over]: A spooky scale. 


Alison Leiby: This one feels like a four. 


Halle Kiefer: Ooh, okay. 


Alison Leiby: To me, like, I think like the little critters, like a scary thing, but like, very much not real. And, but, but I do think like the concept of, like an institute or like someone is being kept from someone else and you don’t know what’s going on there is very scary. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, I think that’s fair. I’m going to give it a five. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, wow. 


Halle Kiefer: Just because I you know that David Cronenberg gets me every time, when you see the lymphosarcoma on his neck. I had like a visceral—


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: —reaction. But yeah, it’s not this is not a particularly scary one. And I do think having little demented children as the villain does does lower the scariness of it. 


Alison Leiby: Yes, absolutely. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. So it was more interesting, entertaining than actually scary. But then there were moments where— 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, absolutely. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s when I when you see that little hand grab that little paperweight. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, yeah no. 


Halle Kiefer: And again, yeah. Like anything with kids where you realize that the kids are there’s two of those kids are attached creatures. Yeah. I mean, five seems good. I feel like it’s a fiver for sure. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Well, everyone, thank you for listening. We hope you’re enjoying mommy issues month.  Please let us know about your issues with your mother are and. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: You know just in general. 


Alison Leiby: More mommies to come. 


Halle Kiefer: More mommies to come. All right well until next time everybody. 


Alison Leiby: Please. 


Halle Kiefer: Please keep it spooky. [music plays] We love you. 


Alison Leiby: We love you. Don’t forget to follow us at Ruined podcast and Crooked Media for show updates. And if you’re as opinionated as we are, consider dropping us a review. Ruined is a Radio Point and Crooked Media production. We’re your writers and hosts Halle Kiefer and Alison Leiby. The show is executive produced by Alex Bach, Sabrina Fonfeder and Houston Snyder, and recorded and edited by Kat Iossa. From Crooked Media our executive producer is Kendra James with production and promotional support from Ari Schwartz, Kyle Seglin, Julia Beach, Caroline Dunphy and Ewa Okulate. [music plays]