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David Cronenberg redefined what we think of as creepy with this
brilliant film. The makeup special effects and grossouts are top notch,
but what is most surprising about The Fly is that it turns out to be a
very well acted and emotional love story. It greatly surpasses the
original '58 version.
The film focuses on the relationship between Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis at the top and once it takes its turn towards horror it really pays off. It's not just scary, it's a tragedy too. Jeff Goldblum is phenomenal. He is mesmerizing as he delivers great dialogue and once he's barely recognizable he still breaks through the makeup and you can feel the human inside. I can't believe he didn't get an Oscar for this, it's easily his best performance.
I can't express how much I love The Fly. It's more than just horror, and it's proof that you just may find a truly great movie where you least expect it.
My rating: 10/10
Most science fiction films are big on ideas and special effects, but weak on coherence and character development; most horror films are just the same, except without the ideas. But David Cronenberg's 'The Fly' takes one simple idea, develops it properly, and eschews (its genuinely terrifying) special effects until its truly horrific climax. And by paying some attention to the personalities of its protagonists, it actually makes you care about them (Jeff Goldblum is excellent in the lead role), and adds a level of serious reflection on the very nature of human mortality to the raw shock. The mix amounts to a gruesomely good film.
The Fly is more than a horror movie it's a statement of the eighties. I remeber seeing this film for the first time when I was five years old and telling my friends about the gore scenes but as I got older and viewed the film again I realzied how much of a tragic love story the film was. Jeff Goldblum gave an Oscar worthy performanc of ill fated scinenits Seth Brundle and Genna Davis gave an equally good performance as his love interest. The special effects were very good for the eighties and the film does have some scary moments. If you've never seen the film you should.
Truly great but very nasty update of the classic 1958 sci-fi film with both Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis in the roles of their lives. Technically, this is a remake, but with a genius like David Cronenberg in the director's chair, it's obvious that this isn't anything like the uninspired and irritating remakes that are being released nowadays ("The Amityville Horror", "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" ). Cronenberg's interpretation of this ultimate terror-tale differs greatly from the original. In fact, the only resemblance is the basic premise of a fusion between an obsessive scientist and an ordinary housefly. Goldblum is terrifically cast as the brilliant, but slightly confused mastermind Seth Brudle, whose lifework are "telepods"; funny looking machines capable of transmitting matter through space. Journalist Davis, with whom he has a romantic adventure, closely observes the progress of his work but when he teapot's himself through space, the catastrophe happens. Mentally as well as physically, Brudle undergoes a horrible transformation into a fly and it cannot be stopped. "The Fly" is a very devastating film. Powerful enough, but not exactly pleasant to look at. Like only the greatest directors can pull this off, Cronenberg overwhelms the audience with a sublime mixture drama, misery and repulsiveness. You feel as helpless as the characters themselves and you painfully wait for the unhappy ending to come! The screenplay is filled with genuine metaphors and the romance between Goldblum and Davis is beautifully illustrated. The special effects, mainly created by Chris Walas (who went on directing the 1989-sequel) are definitely still staggering and they don't look the least bit dated by today's standards.
It's been over 20 years since this movie was made, but the special
effects are still amazing and the story is an entertaining - and
disgusting - as ever! I watch it about every 5-7 years. It's utterly
fascinating, but it is so uncomfortable to watch at times I always
wonder, as I am viewing it, why I put myself through this each time!
The original movie, with Vincent Price, is "dullsville" compared to
Things can get really disgusting as Jeff Goldblum ('Seth Brundle") slowly turns into a huge fly. The transformation is very gross in certain spots, and certainly gut-wrenching to witness. You can just feel his girlfriend's anguish and horror as she witnesses Goldblums' incredible physical and mental change. Geena Davis gives a convincing performance in that roles as "Veronica Quiafe."
The story is not just a dumb horror-creature movie, but an intelligent science fiction tale with both leading actors excellent. I don't Davis ever looked prettier, too. John Getz also is good as her magazine boss, "Stathis Borans." Those three characters dominate the film. I can't even remember anyone else in here.
The ending is stunning, almost leaving the first time viewer in shock. In fact, by the nd, this movie will have you emotionally worn out.
I think that this is a grossly underrated film - a noteworthy landmark in modern horror. I would expect nothing less than excellent from my favourite director Cronenberg, and this doesn't disappoint. Goldblum's performance is particularly good as the nervy scientist Brundle, but I think the main reason for the film's achievement is its structure - very subtle, very well made. Most of the action takes place in the last third of the picture, but there is a great suspense building up to that point. And the special effects are jaw-dropping - Brundle's hideous transformation is reminiscent of Lynch's 'The Elephant Man'. This film has a reputation for being unnecessarily gory, which is actually not at all true. It is a very intelligent picture, about love and other issues as much as horror, and a must-see for anyone.
I have to admit it. The Fly is the only David Cronenberg movie I have ever
seen. I haven't seen any of his others, such as The Dead Zone, Naked Lunch,
or eXiStenZ (I think that's how you spell it). But it's just an example that
you don't have to be a Cronenberg fan to enjoy this classic. The movie was
definitely not a horror movie starring a mad scientist who transforms into
an evil fly. It's really not even a horror movie. It's a drama with amounts
of romance and suspense/horror. Jeff Goldblum did the best performance of
his career as Seth Brundle, a scientist who has invented something he calls
"Telepods". They're pods that transport you from pod to pod, space to space.
He tests this invention with animals and objects until one night he gets
very mad because he believes his girlfriend (Geena Davis) is seeing someone
else (John Getz), even though his belief is wrong. He tries the pods out for
himself, unknowing that a fly got trapped in the pod with him. The pods
splice them together, and slowly throughout the movie, Seth Brundle
transforms into a gross and devastating creature, half man, half
The movie had no errors in it. The acting was great, the terrifying score by Howard Shore was amazing, the directing was exceptional, the story was brilliant, and the extremely sick and disgusting special effects were fantastic. Go see this movie! But don't go on a full stomach, unless you want to lose that meal in you.
Why is it this film that will always be his REAL 'breakout', and not
any of the others before or since? The truth is, beneath all the
biological yucks and makeup (there is plenty of both) lies a strong
emotional core. Goldblum is enthusiastically likable as scientist Seth
Brundle, and Geena Davis is just how Geena Davis seems to be in real
life... sweet. It is how the events change both characters EMOTIONALLY,
not physically, that inspires the true horror.
The blending of both the above elements makes this remake appeal simultaneously to the 'gross out' crowd, and those in the mood for a more cerebral horror experience. A concept of B-movie stature, electrified by the skills of A-list talent.
It was nice reading the reviews for this film as so many people picked up
the real elements of this movie and not just about the
This movie, as most great movies, is a subtle love story, where someone realises they are a burden and maybe even a danger to them, and so make the ultimate sacrifice.
Cronenberg is probably my favourite director as he is able to take unusual film idea and turn it into something intense and believable. As he has evolved he has improved his writing and as a results the stories have become more hidden and more intelligent.
I think the Fly, Deadzone and Videodrome are his best work. His more recent films, Crash and the Naked Lunch have impressed me with his ambition and ability to try something new, but have failed as entertainment.
I can't really put my finger on how Cronenberg is able to create the intensity and atmosphere that he does, even with very obscure subjects, but I would love to see him try some less obscure subjects and make films of the caliber of the Fly again.
Highly recommend 9/10
Just last week, in one of my Screen Analysis tutorials, our tutor
good-naturedly decided that if we were going to be film students we
needed to be exposed to disturbing things. What he showed us was an
excerpt from an expressionist French film made in the late 20's, the
name escapes me. Before we had reached the climactic scene, every one
in the class had already guessed it, as we had seen images so far of a
man purposely sharpening a razor blade, and then approaching a
complacent woman in a chair and holding wide open one of her eyes. At
this point one of the girls in the room rather loudly asked of the
tutor, jokingly but in something of a shaky voice, "Why are you doing
This question, I think, could well be the definitive mark of really effective horror, and it was certainly in the back of my mind nearly all of last night as I was watching David Cronenberg's "The Fly" for the first time. True horror films, by their nature, should strive to get their audience to ask this question, because it means that they are transcending the illusion of moving pictures and becoming a film suspending disbelief and getting under your skin. Effectiveness aside, however, I believe that the mark of exceptional horror is when the question stems from a concern for the characters' wellbeing, and not your own. With both these thoughts in mind, I suspect that "The Fly" could well be the second best horror film of all time (behind Kubrick's "The Shining", which, I admit, got to first place by completely different criteria. Such is life, I'm afraid).
Remade from a 1958 concept starring Vincent Price (and later popularized by "The Simpsons"), the film follows a pretty archetypical horror premise: science gone (of course) horribly wrong. In this case, Jeff Goldblum (in his tour-de-force performance) plays Seth Brundle, an independent scientific visionary who has been slowly designing a device that will "change the world as we know it" a Teleporter. When he shows his invention to romantic interest Veronica (Geena Davis), it is not quite ready to handle living tissue (demonstrated on screen in the first instance of quite confronting gore), but as the two grow a relationship and fall in love, the wrinkles in the technology are ironed out and so Brundle takes one small step for man and tests the machine on himself. Unfortunately, in the process of teleportation, his DNA is mixed up with that of a common housefly, and although not immediately transformed, as in the original, the two species soon begin to genetically merge and transform Brundle into a creature that has never existed before and for damned good reasons.
Cronenberg, of course, never shortchanges his audience with graphic gore, and even viewed with the critical eye of Generation Y, the film's mid-eighties effects are still quite sickening, none more so than Goldblum's slow physical transformation. What makes this whole affair really outstanding, however, is his psychological transformation: the truly disturbing thing is how front and centre the humanity of these characters and their world is kept. Davis and Goldblum are the heroes in this regard their chemistry is palpable, and her affection for him struggling against her disgust at what he is becoming, coupled with his own struggle to keep the fly in check, create the kind of riveting discomfort usually only commanded by train-wrecks.
I was, in fact, quite strongly reminded of Darren Aronofsky's 2000 film-adaptation of Hubert Selby's novel "Requiem for a Dream" although the subject matter differs greatly, both films derive their horror elements most strongly from a place that is completely removed from Horror and in both examples the source is basically Love. In this sense, the film affects a lot like real life tragedies do, because it begins in a place truly pure and good and unsuspecting, lets its characters discover how wonderful life can be, and then Horror is unjustly, and irrevocably, forced upon them. This is why it is genuinely moving, instead of tacky, when Goldblum resigns to Davis with a regretful and yet matter-of-fact air that "(he is) an insect who dreamt (he) was a man, and loved it. But now the dream is over and the insect is awake". And in true Cronenberg style, this prophecy becomes quite literal in the third act (think Vincent D'Onofrio in "Men in Black").
Now, in a film that had spent more time on sinister close ups of flies and haunting music cues and not on the bare and essential humanity of the doomed lovers, at this point I probably would have asked "Why are you doing this to me?" and that could have been the end of it dismissed as senseless disturbing cinema and forgotten. As Cronenberg, Goldblum and Davis have done it, what I asked was "Why are you doing this to them?" And that's the kind of film that you don't ever forget.
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