Breeder (Frightfest 2020) review – a brutal onslaught

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: October 23, 2020 (Last updated: February 13, 2024)


Breeder is a brutal horror that simply doesn’t hold back on the ever-demanding search for youth.

Breeder is a Danish horror movie from director Jens Dahl of 3 Things, starring TV Rita’s Sara Hjort Ditlevsen, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets’ Anders Heinrichsen, A Royal Affair’s Morten Holst, and Into the Wild’s Signe Egholm Olsen.

Breeder follows an Olympic hopeful, Mia Lindberg (Ditlevsen), whose husband Thomas (Heinrichsen) has started to become distant from her while he is working on Dr. Isabel Ruben’s (Olsen) latest genetics project, which is designed to help create a new age-reversing process. When Thomas looks to take a victim back to the facility he learns the truth, that not everyone is volunteering, which leads to Mia going in search of him and becoming the latest victim in the process, needing to find a way to fight to escape.

Breeder has a story that will dive into the ideas of creating a technique to help age reversing, with science that will cross the legal lines and see how far the scientists will go for youth. The pacing of the story does seem to drag at times, while when we get to the big moments, we get to see the shocking scenes. We might well have seen moments and ideas of the film before, only most haven’t gone as far into the world, with the size of the operation slowly becoming bigger as certain things continue to get revealed. We tend not to get involved with the details of the scientific side of the operation, which will see us needing to get through more of the blood and gore involved with it.

Breeder features performances from Sara Hjort Ditlevsen in the leading role, where she shows the strength of a slasher final girl while going through the ordeals of a torture porn character. Signe Egholm Olsen as the scientist behind the operation is as cold and calculated as you would imagine, being crucial to the pain and suffering being inflicted in the film. When we hit the male actors, we get the abusive figure that Morten Holst brings to life, who comes off both terrifying in his actions and shows the pleasure he is getting from his torturous actions.

Breeder uses the horror elements of the torture porn subgenre of horror, seeing the sadistic pleasure The Dog and The Swine characters get from what they are doing to the women they capture while using the effects to show the horrific actions they inflict on their victims. Nothing seems to be off-limits in how extreme of the brutality this movie will be willing to go too.

When you sit down to watch Breeder, be prepared for the violence, the horrific nature in a film that does have a slow storytelling process, but never holds back on the gore and violence you will have to endure.

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