The Fly (1986) – Review

3 1/2 Stars

The Fly won an Academy Award for its make-up effects back in 1986, and the work still holds up today. That is true of the film itself, this retelling of the 1958 movie has been given a modern update but retains its combination of science fiction and horror film elements. Directed and co-written by David Cronenberg, and cast to perfection, The Fly is one of the best and smartest genre films of the 1980s.

Jeff Goldblum stars as Seth Brundle, a brilliant scientist who has discovered the secret to teleportation in a make shift laboratory,located in his loft apartment. Geena Davis is Veronica Quaife, a hotshot reporter covering this seemingly insane man for a future cover-story. To her surprise and bewilderment she discovers that Brundle is capable of transporting objects in mere seconds. Problem is the machine doesn’t work on living subjects, something to do with the molecules of the flesh. A fascination and bond grows between the pair as Brundle attempts to correct the remaining flaw and Veronica documents the entire procedure.

One night in a drunken fit, and with no-one around to corroborate the discovery, Brundle gets into the teleporter himself. Unbeknownst to him, a single fly also gets locked into the chamber. In the process of the transportation Seth’s human genes get merged with those of the insect. The result is a grisly transformation from intellectual hermit, to muscle-bound bully, and then into an unrecognizable vermin.

The Fly is an effective blend of horror and thoughtfulness, ripe with humor and clever plot twists. Cronenberg and his effects team’s attention to detail is commendable, but often times veers into the repulsive. Still, this effective tale is told in the grand tradition of Man vs. Science flicks from the 1950, given a touch of pathos and outstanding creature effects, all accompanied by a outstanding score from Howard Shore.

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis, John Getz

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