Lord of the Flies (1990) Poster

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8/10
A Society Without Perspectives and Rules
Claudio Carvalho30 March 2007
After a plane crash in the ocean, a group of military students reach an island. The boy Ralph (Balthazar Getty) organizes the other kids, assigning responsibilities for each one. When the rebel Jack Merridew (Chris Furrh) neglects the fire camp and they lose the chance to be seen by a helicopter, the group split under the leadership of Jack. While Ralph rationalizes the survival procedures, Jack returns to the primitivism, using the fear for the unknown (in a metaphor to the religion) and hunger to control the other boys. His group starts hunting and chasing pigs, stealing the possession of Ralph's group and even killing people.

I found this impressive movie very scary, since it shows the behavior of children (and human beings) fighting to survive in a society without perspective and rules. My immediate association was with my and other Third World countries, where many children are abandoned by the Government in their poor communities, and without education, perspectives in life and laws, become very young criminals working in gangs of drug dealers and thieves. In this movie, it is exposed how primitive a kid can be without the authority and respect, and this sort of violence is in the headlines of our newspapers almost every day. There are many discussions presently in Brazil about juvenile criminality. I have never the chance of reading this visionary novel; therefore I can not comment is it is a good or a bad adaptation, but I found this movie a frightening study of characters and sociology. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "O Senhor das Moscas" ("The Lord of the Flies")
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8/10
What golding was going for
highway chile16 February 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Though this movie could of been better in many areas it still fit into what Author William Golding was going for.

The transformation of the language in the movie is just to keep up with the time. Does any one believe this movie would gain any respect in this day and age if 9-12 year old children were going "Wizard!, Wacco!, Doink!." (Actual quotation from point when they are excited). No of course not (By the way 9-12 year olds enjoy swearing more than any other age group). I know personally I would be laughing all the way through the entire movie, which would not portray the decay of mankind to politely. So, yes they came onto the Island swearing. But if you remember Jack was never innocent. Though he was eviler at certain points, he always had the evil side.

I believe other than the fact they were missing Simon's epileptic episode, the movie was a fine representative of the book. The beastie though clearly not a dead parachuter like in the book, still provided the same role as in the book. That is a source of false power to Jack.

Though the movie was a bit of a modern adaptation it still provided the same dark and hopeless feel of the book. I personally loved the book, the movie changed a few important events that I feel should of been left in. Either way the movie painted many of the scenes exactly how I imagined them and for that I give them credit. I just hope that if they make a modern adaptation they should be more creative, possibly change the setting, and the characters, but still have a similar plot. That way the audience has to fill in the blanks between the book and the movie so they are in suspense not critization of the dissimilarities between the two.
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7/10
I have very mixed feelings about this movie
FrankBooth_DeLarge26 June 2005
Warning: Spoilers
When I was in 10th grade, I read the novel Lord of the Flies in English class, and right after that, we watched this movie. I really loved the novel so I was excited about seeing the movie.

The novel Lord of the Flies is very provocative. While it stands as one of the greatest novels of the 20th century, it also stands as one of the most controversial and frequently banned novels of the century. For a novel of that much greatness, it is hard for a movie to do it any justice.

Part of the reason for why Lord of the Flies is a classic and is still read today is because of its theme, which involves kids killing each other. There has always been a sensation and terror about that kind of theme. This movie tries to catch that theme, while it succeeds at being a disturbing movie, it fails at living up to the novel. There is also a lot of symbolism in the novel that isn't really present in the movie as well.

The directing in this movie isn't done very well. The beginning of the movie just kind of opens up and never really gives you much background. As the movie goes along, there isn't much of a flow to it. The book had a great flow which kept the story moving, but the movie was pretty choppy, and as you watch it, you don't think the director even cared about keeping the flow of the novel.

The child actors aren't much better. The kid who played Ralph was good, as well as the kid who played Jack. The kid who played Piggy was pretty good, but not quite up to par with the other two that I mentioned. The kid who played Piggy fits the description pretty well, and I kind of feel bad for him because his performance in the movie sort of affects how people look at him as a person. All of the other kids in this movie didn't do very well at all.

One of the key elements in the novel is done very poorly in the movie. In the novel there is a scene where the kid Simon sees a pig's head on a stick and has a conversation with it. In the movie all that happens is Simon looks at the pig's head and you see a flash of lightning. The director sure expects a heck of a lot out of the audience if he wants them to believe the kid is having a conversation. Another key scene from the novel, Piggy's death, was also done very poorly in the movie. In the novel it was shocking and depressing. In the movie it is depressing that he dies, but the scene looked pretty fake. There are also a few random things that were put into the movie and had not much impact on the story, like the glow stick, and the pilot who survives the crash, unlike the novel.

A couple of scenes in the movie are done pretty well. There is one scene where the kids are all gathering around the fire at night and are reenacting a hunt that took place. This scene is done pretty well, but the real key to that scene is the score in the background. The score is pretty good and helps guide the movie at times. At the very end, when the kids see the marine standing on the beach and they realize what they had done, the director did pretty well at showing the kids' emotions over what had gone on at the island. Unfortunately, the ending is very sudden and is over before you would expect it to be.

I loved the novel, but I have very mixed feelings about the movie. There are plenty of things in the movie that you will be disappointed by, but there are also some redeeming factors. It is worth watching once, but only if you have read the book. If you haven't read it, this movie will ruin it for you, so read the book first and then see the movie.
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1/10
Horrible.
Mary Komech1 April 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I read the book a couple of years ago, and found it to be very dark but not by any means boring. Now, we are studying it, and our teacher brought both movies for us to watch. Unfortunately, we watched this one first. Right after the first scene, I knew that this movie would be terrible. None of the actors fit their description, and every single one of them cannot act; not that the script helps. Eery scene is rushed and senseless - I cannot imagine how anyone who has not read the book can understand what's going on. Then there is the fact that they swear. A lot. Believe me, I have nothing against swearing, but the whole point of the book was that these were more or less polite, normal, *British* boys, who turned into monsters in a very short period of time. Here they were so bossy and arrogant already, that it was hard to tell the difference. Jack was made into some sort of "bad guy" who "steals cars", robbing him of any sort of dignity that he retained in the book even after his descent into monstrosity. Piggy... Piggy had a high, whiny voice, and the sight of him slobbering over his broken glasses was enough to make me sick: another good character wasted. The Piggy in the book, at least, was not stupid. And the scene of his death lacked the horror and the suspense of the book. It is funny how only a few written words can contain more emotion than a five-minute movie scene. Simon's character was also ruined; the most awesome scene in the book was simply not there. Why? And what is with the pilot? His presence took the place of the beast - not a good replacement. The beast itself was barely mentioned. There were two scenes which I somewhat enjoyed - Simon's body floating in the water (not the scene of his death), and the chasing of Ralph through the burning forest - both these scenes take less than a minute. This movie is not worth watching. I suggest you don't.
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9/10
Really a good movie
mattsimdb15 January 2012
First of all, I never read the book. Both my older brother and sister read it in middle school, but somehow I missed it. I have been aware of the story for many years though. I am definitely going to go pick up the book now. Furthermore, can anything be more cliché than to pan a movie because it didn't live up to the book. Anyways, I had the luck of going into this movie without that bias.

I have read many other books that involve political analysis, such as George Orwell's 1984 and Animal Farm. I find these kind of topics fascinating.

First of all, I disagree with the people that saw this movie and see it only as "boys go savage". It shows that reviewers simply don't understand the deeper level this movie goes to, which is why do people behaved "civilized" at all. How does a democracy survive? How do dictatorships happen? What is civilized? How do you make people cooperate?

I personally have been in situations, such as adult recreational sports, where I volunteered as a team captain. It's a perfect analogy to Lord Of the Flies, because a team captain has no real authority. I'm not paying people, and I can't kick people off the team, and there are real limits to anything I can do. Every time I have done that there is always some punk that decides he wants to take over, or doesn't have to do what he is told. This happens regardless of how minimally I am trying to dictate anything.

So, how do you prevent anarchy? How do you keep from being overthrown? Every society starts out like this. Sure, once someone gets in power there are many people that can't compete with them, but at the top of any hierarchy is competition and relationships. How is order created?

So, after I watched this movie I thought, what did Ralph do wrong?

Here is my answer. First of all, Ralph should have not created a complete democracy. Instead he should have created a council subgroup of kids that would be elected into their positions. He should have also been elected, and would have easily won in the beginning.

By tying the council members positions to his position, they would have supported him in case of any rebellion. True authority is cemented in affiliation. Also, if someone else wanted to take over they would have had a civilized means to do so, next election, and wouldn't have to resort to rebellion.

Also, anyone not doing their fair of work on the island would have to be judged before the council. This way his authority would have been enforced through a form of group discipline.

Many tribal societies function like this, despite the fact that some might judge them to be "uncivilized". In fact, this is also how modern democracy/representative governments work.

Jack on the other hand did just about everything right in building his brutal dictatorship. He built his own council out of boys that decided to rebel with him from the beginning. So, he already had his power base. He used fear of the monster to create a constant state of emergency to keep people from questioning his authority. He used violence to keep everyone in line, and he eventually attempted to kill off all his opposition.

Stories and movies like this are very important to keep us aware of the way we are manipulated by those who want power. By simplifying the situation they serve as a window to show us how our larger societies function.

If you learn anything from this movie at least learn to be suspicious of any political group that cultivates fear in you of outside forces. By making you afraid and convincing you that "we" are the ones that can protect you, they are using the oldest trick in the book.
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Don't get your hopes up
mlle_lauren14 November 2002
I've read the book so many times and after seeing the first 1963 adaptation of the movie I admit I was a little let down. I was surprised they didn't put in the Simon scene (which is probably one of the most important scenes in the book) and a lot of other important things they missed out on. But then, once I found out there was another version of the movie I quickly rented it. But let me tell you something; This is movie is much worse than the first one, and does an awful job of telling the storyline. Although the boys were very adorable (I'll admit that)that still didn't make up for the bad acting job they did. Plus, I was really confused on why the director chose to make a nonexistent captain the most important symbol in the book. Why he did that is beyond me. So anyways, my point is, if your looking for a good movie based on the book, you should probably just stick to the first one, and don't waste your money on renting/buying this movie.
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3/10
This Version Bites
leCagot21 March 2003
Sorry folks, the 1963, low budget, English black & white version is much better. Hollywood can never leave a good story alone. On occasion they can do it better, sometimes on par , usually they blow it. This version blows. I give it 3 stars out of 10 for production value and some good casting, but it wasn't enough to save it. Rent the 1963 version or better yet read the book.
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7/10
I love this movie
shaman196930 December 2006
I love this movie and I don't know why so many people bag it.I have seen it several times and I actually own a copy.I must confess though that I have never read the novel or seen the original 1963 version.People who have read the novel have said that they found the movie disappointing.Movies are never as good as books.There are always different interpretations in movies and it is sometimes very hard to convey certain elements of a story in a book in a film.Several people have said they thought the acting was terrible.I thought the two lead actors Balthazar Getty(Ralph) and Chris Furrhr(Jack)were excellent and they both played their parts really well.Balthazar Getty is a great actor who I think is very underrated.Okay so they replaced the British kids from the novel with American kids.So what who cares.Its still a great story and the whole point and theme of the story which is to show how children unsupervised by adults can turn into savages and become uncivilized is still there.Also since when was swearing uncivilized?I noticed one reviewer commented on the fact that there was a lot of swearing and that the idea was that the kids were supposed to be polite and civilized before they became uncivilized.If swearing is uncivilized then we must all be because we all do it from time to time.There was not a lot of swearing anyway it was only occasionally.I have certainly seen and heard a lot worse.Get over it.I thought the cinematography was great too.If you like stories involving people stranded on a deserted island as I do then I recommend that you check it out.
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6/10
A Disappointing Film
GuitaristX45625 May 2005
I watched this movie during my English Class a few weeks back, and I have to say, it was rather disappointing. I loved the book, the story was very interesting, unlike anything I've ever read. When we watched the movie, I knew it would be different, but I didn't think it would be THIS different. The story almost completely changes, nothing but the bear bones of the book are left, and it made me sort of angry. It was cartoonish, and lacked any symbolism whatsoever. The book was great because of it, and here it lacks something. I feel that someone who hasn't read the book will laugh, they probably wouldn't understand what is going on. So much of the plot was taken out. The acting is okay though, Balthazar Getty does a good job as Ralph. Despite the boys being American here, he reminded me of the Ralph in the book.
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10/10
Shakes you to the bone
ishy208024 August 2000
Well I happened upon this movie by accident and started watching it because I fall for the kinds of movies where someones stuck on a desert island etc. Over all it's an extremely good depiction of humanity and the psycological behavior of children left alone without guidance. The acting was wonderful, and I'm sure anyone who sees it will agree that that kind of situation is difficult to imagine let alone act out especially with the actors being so young. I recommend this movie for anyone looking for a creepy survival story.
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10/10
Underrated Masterpiece
shawshankboy17 September 2000
I can't believe that this movie has recieved such bad reviews, and has only a 5.9 rating. And the fact that I am the only one to write about this film makes it truly underrated. When I first saw this movie when I was nine, I was blown away by it. it was the ultimate boy movie for me. The acting was very realistic. It was about a group of boarding school boys get shipwrecked on an island with no parental supervision. It showed us how truly savagely and animalistic we can become when their is absolutely no rules or restrictions. And how our survival insticts want to take over. The end was very touching and summed it all up, without any words being spoken.
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5/10
Not great but reasonably watchable
Jon Williams17 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I read the novel in tenth grade English class and remember watching both of the movies in class the week after finishing the book, but it had been several years since I'd seen this version and when it came on TV last weekend I decided to watch it.

The first thing that I noticed was that so much of the symbolic imagery was either lost or heavily modified, I'm not sure if the writer really understood the story's themes or got the meaning of some of the imagery of the story with important scenes changed and a great deal of the character development was left out entirely which makes the script feels like the cole's notes version of the story.

Among the more glaring changes were:

In the book Simon was an allegory for Jesus while in the movie he's looked at as being "weird", they completely ignored the mystical almost Buddha like qualities of the character.

In the book Jack represented the darkness that exists within us all and our hidden desire to pretend to be what we aren't while in this movie he's just an arrogant jerk.

In the book the pigs head represented the pure evil of Satan (lord of the flies is a translation from a Hebrew word that literally means the devil)while in this version of the movie it's really just set dressing that does not convey the horror that it's supposed to.

In the book Roger starts out as a minor character but slowly builds into being a sadistic psychopath who represents the pure evil that we all possess but control, in this movie he is portrayed as being sick and twisted monster who revels in the pain of others almost right from the start and in the novel he's first described very subtly as being dark (meaning evil not African American)but in this version of the movie he's written as the stereotypical violent black kid.

The whole scene of Simon's death was presented in the book in a subtle way as a semi-satanic right (the whole setting was indicative of an ancient pagan right of animal/human sacrifice)while being described as "accidental" it's left up to the imagination of the reader as to what happened, in this movie it comes off as being a frenzied accident.

In the book Piggy's intellect is the glue that holds Ralph's civilization together, in this movie he 's written to be a whiny simpering sort of buffoon.

But the biggest changes that actually hurt the movie the most were a combination of two things first changing the time setting and second making the boys American,

The thing that made the novel so shocking was the idea that prim and proper English school boys in the late forties or early fifties could become uncivilized savages capable of horrific acts of brutality and violence committed against each other.

Updating the time setting and making the boys American really took away from the shock value of the novel because by the late eighties and early nineties it wasn't so uncommon to hear stories on the evening news about preteen gang bangers shooting people or middle school kids violently attacking each other on the school yard, these factors really desensitized the audience to the violence that the boys are doing to each other in the story and make it much less impactful to the viewer.

The acting is alright, it's nothing terribly special but watchable it's obvious that the director wasn't going to pull Oscar winning performances out of the kids but the leads manage to put in convincing performances and bring some life to their characters despite being saddled with a relatively flat script that omits much of the character development from the novel.

The direction and photography are good, although the bright lush colors sort of take away from the darkness of the story and make it seem like a tourism Hawaii commercial at times.

The negatives slightly outweigh the positives but it's a decent movie and is at least watchable which is more than I can say for some movies today.
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10/10
Dismissed In 1990, This Version Of Lord Of The Flies Holds Up Remarkably Well!
Michael McGonigle23 May 2009
Warning: Spoilers
When the new version of Lord Of The Flies hit screens in 1990, it was critically savaged, mostly for being among that most maligned of film categories, the "remake".

Lord Of The Flies had already been made into an austere, critically revered, Black & White film in 1963, so an updated version, filmed in color, using American kids instead of British kids was considered a sacrilege.

Both film versions of Lord Of The Flies were based on the novel by Nobel prize winning author Sir William Golding and tell the story of a group of boys from a boarding school who end up stranded on a deserted tropical island when their plane crashes. Although they initially try to live with order and rules, it doesn't take long for the boys to descend into savagery.

William Golding was a former schoolteacher who dealt with pre-adolescent oiks the same age as his novel's protagonists. I suspect there was a good deal of satisfying revenge in his describing these boys as being nothing more than savages in school uniforms.

But Golding was less interested in telling a realistic story than by making his deserted island an allegory for British society but he artificially stacks the deck by making his world all male and by keeping the boys between the ages of 8 and 13, before many of them start having sexual interests.

Golding's novel is heavy on symbolism and paints its characters in stark unambiguous terms so Lord Of The Flies can be easily dissected with any intellectual knife, from the "political" (Ralph represents Democracy, Jack represents Totalitarianism) to the "psychological" (Ralph is the Super Ego, Jack is the Id).

Personally, I think this undercuts his most powerful conceit, which is, without adult supervision, how long would it take for a group of young kids to degenerate into anarchy and brutality?

In the 1990 version of Lord Of The Flies, the kids are not British, but American and they are from a military academy. This change upsets the purists most of all. Because, if you were determined to show that the British class system is so inherently fragile that it would crumble when confronted with the merest challenge, your theory is kaput if the kids are American.

American kids are automatically less uptight than their British counterparts. From the very start they are less willing to group themselves into preconceived social stations. We see this clearly after a conch shell is found and all the boys are called for an assembly.

Here, two older boys, each with natural leadership qualities rise to the occasion. Ralph (Balthazar Getty) is the liberal idealist and Jack (Chris Furrh) is the conservative realist and while they are good friends at the start, this soon changes.

Their personality differences immediately begin to shape life on the island. Jack focuses on the hedonistic positives; they don't have teachers, classes, tests or any girls to bother them, so why not enjoy this unscheduled vacation a little bit?

But Ralph, thinking down the line a bit, knows that there is no way they can stay on this island for the rest of their lives and that if they don't start doing something to get rescued, they might end up doing just do that.

This is a marked change from the 1963 version where Ralph and Jack hated each other from the get go. In the earlier film, Jack is a conservative prig, bloviating like a conservative radio host, about how "the English are the best at everything" and automatically assuming himself the leader of the boys simply because he's head of the choir.

Jack is openly scornful of the election that votes Ralph in as leader and immediately causes a rift by separating his friends into a group of hunters.

But, in the 1990 version, Jack is portrayed as a strong young lad with natural charisma. Whereas Ralph can only offer hope that they may be rescued eventually, Jack offers his followers tangible solutions to immediate problems; THEY will hunt for food, THEY will build shelters, THEY will maintain a signal fire.

Jack gets the other kids to join his side not by bullying, but by actually providing a viable alternative to Ralph's leadership. Imagine what America would be like if conservatives ever learned that simple lesson!

Think about it, in the 1990 version of Lord Of The Flies, since both Ralph and Jack are presented as attractive, competent and intelligent leaders, it is not so easy to assign blame when their island society begins to degenerate.

It's difficult to take sides when conservative Jack is not all "BAD" and liberal Ralph is not all "GOOD". This is bothersome to most people because they prefer their symbolism spelled out for them.

Overall, the story has been admirably updated by screenwriter Sara Schiff, her realistic depiction of the boys' descent into savagery is more organic and feels more truthful and less manipulative than the earlier film.

So, why did the 1990 Lord Of The Flies get dissed so badly?

Perhaps in 1990, there were still people who felt that kids were somehow incorruptible and not prone to violence. Even though history is full of stories about violent children from the Hitler Youth to the Khmer Rouge to the genocide being committed in various African countries today.

The belief that a group of young boys would inevitably chuck aside civilization and descend into viciousness may have seemed unthinkable when the book was originally written and the 1963 film was shot.

But now, in a post-Columbine, post-9/11 world, it seems amazing that this sort of thing doesn't happen more often.
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Better than the 1963 one
wesie245 November 2004
Some people may dislike this movie because of the cursing, or the fact that the whole story has been twisted around. However, it was way more entertaining than the 1963 one. I am currently in English in high school, and we read the book, then watched both movies. I think some people don't realize how complex this story is. You cannot just watch this movie, or the original. Read the book. Analyze the story, every detail. Then watch the movies. The 1963 movie does follow the story from the book, but I almost fell asleep. Although the new one may be an insult to the book, it was far more enjoyable. However, I was displeased at how the boys were acting. I do think there was way too much cursing, and some rather inappropriate comments for 12 or 13 year old boys to be making. This isn't a good movie for children. Regardless, if you are into the book watch the movie!
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Nothing special this time around, but not a complete failure as some claim.
When I saw this remake I did not find it as bad as some said it was. Basically its like so many remakes of classic films, they rarely live up to the original. There is little new thats added here. Most of the virtues of this film are just repeats of the virtues of the first film. New to this film, on the plus side is the use of vivid colour, as oppossed to the original films harsh, grainy black and white. The colour photography beautifully captures the lush tropical surroundings. On the negative side are the silly dreams of the kids being rescued. Also having the piolet survive and wander around like rabid dog looks like it was thrown in to provide a few cheap shocks, or something.
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Not a good adaptation
DrConway3 February 2001
I could nitpick for ages about this film - however I will confine it to mentioning that numerous anachronisms abound in the movie - while it's supposed to be reasonably faithful to the original novel to the point of the children not knowing what day it is, or what time it is, the actors can be seen wearing watches in several scenes. Add in the excessive use of swear-words among the children, and it definitely leaves something lacking that exists in the novel.

Ironically enough, I saw the movie first before reading the novel, but grew to enjoy the novel much more than the movie.

I hope to one day see the black and white 1960s-era version.
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1/10
Horrible interpretation of a wonderful novel
samiwhoo27 May 2009
Warning: Spoilers
If you have read the book or even seen the 1963 movie, you know how awful this one is. It twists the plot to the point that its structure is completely demolished. It changes the characters almost entirely, both by making them American and military students, but also by making them swear all the time. Jack isn't even the leader of the choir, which is one of his most important character traits from the novel. In fact, the majority of what drives the plot and creates Golding's theme of the evil of savagery and the evil within us is gone in this movie. It was made into a worthless shell of the 1963 movie.

If you were aggravated by missing scenes from the 1963 movie, you'll completely hate this movie. 90% of the important scenes are missing the characters are not themselves, and most of the dialogue is changed. Even the pilot is alive for a large part of the movie! I would not recommend for anyone who even remotely enjoyed the book or 1963 movie to see this movie. It WILL ruin it for you. Even as a movie, it is not a good one. The musical score is alright, but the acting doesn't make the movie worth watching.

All in all, it's a terrible movie and an abomination of a Lord of the Flies interpretation.
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1/10
this is what happens
gs2014 September 2010
This is what happens when you hire an obscure director who has only directed 13 projects(mostly TV) in 28 years(Hook)who unfortunately also did the editing.......certainly no Kubrick by the way........an even more obscure screenwriter for whom there is apparently no information at all anywhere(Schiff)......a lead character who actually has two real broken wrists(Getty) and even though he was the original producer on the 1963 version which was excellent due to direction, a producer so disenchanted with movie making that he quit and went to the stage to work(Lewis Allen) although much to his credit(7 noms,3 tony awards). I cannot imagine how they convinced him to have anything to do with this travesty..........i suppose they thought it was a novel idea to CHANGE THE STORY........which is ALWAYS a good idea, of course!.........it is also sad that this movie was overshadowed by a better Disney TV movie made at the same time(Exile)...........i wonder what Golding thought of this version (cringe)
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1/10
Why was this made?
bandw2 December 2012
I have read Golding's book and seen the 1963 movie. You may ask why I watched this remake and, after suffering through it, I have to ask myself that question. Remakes of excellent movies are always risky, but if you are going to do a remake at least you should aim to create something better, or offer a different and interesting interpretation. This movie does neither, it follows in the footsteps of pretty much all remakes--it is a disaster. The real tragedy is that someone who sees this before reading the book or seeing the 1963 film will be inclined to give a miss to those superior works.

For whatever reason major plot points of the book have been reconfigured. This is all well and good if the final result is engaging, but here the changes are a degradation, resulting in a loss of dramatic effect and allegorical meaning. Instead of having proper English schoolboys stranded on the island, the boys here are cadets from some United States military school. The story has been updated from the early 1950s, apparently to sometime in the 1980s judging from the language used, mention of TV series like "Alf," and the talk of being captured by Russians. The main point of Golding's book was to show that even the most civilized English boys (one group among them having been the school choir), can behave savagely when civilization is stripped away. It is less surprising here that boys from a military academy come to behave badly, particularly in the 1980s. Using about every major swear word in the English language, the kids are not at all likable.

The acting is sub par, even for kids with little experience. They don't really talk to each other, they just read their lines. There is no spontaneity in their behavior. I have never seen a more pathetic attempt at crying than what is on display here. Chris Furrh is much too much of a pretty boy to be believable as the blackguard Jack.

This movie offers a classic example of where color can be markedly inferior to black and white. In this movie, where the focus should be on the kids, they are swallowed up by the lush vegetation. After over forty years I still had vivid memories from the 1963 movie; after only a week I have had few specific memories of this movie.

Perhaps the most irritating thing about this production is the obnoxious score. It is exceedingly distracting, constantly drawing your attention to it in trying to make up for lack of any dramatic tension provided by the script. In some of the final scenes the music is a flagrant ripoff of Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring."

If I had not read the book nor seen the classic 1963 movie, I might not be so hard on this, but having had those experiences, it is impossible not to make comparisons, and this falls short. A great effort made to take a step backward.
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10/10
Viewpoint of a 15 yr. old guy
mystic_sage_179123 October 2009
I did not intend to see this movie. I was just surfing. But something made me watch it.

It was amazing. One of the best films i've ever seen. To depict the emotions they were experiencing fluidly was a really difficult challenge, and the movie managed to do it. I've not seen any other "lord of the flies" movie. But I find it hard to believe it can be made in a better manner.

The ending was very abrupt, and left me breathless for more...it was completely unexpected. But what I loved the most was the storyline. How seemingly normal teens (or preteens), can change in the absence of order. And I realised that it was absolutely true. What was shown in the movie was so natural, it didn't feel like a movie.

If you can remember and understand yourself in that age, hardened in the army, but still a child, you'll love the movie.
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Watch the 1963 version instead.
dootuss22 January 2002
This remake of the classic William Golding book "Lord of the Flies" is not only bad, but it doesn't measure up. They have a glow stick on the island, and there's an adult survivor too. What really got me on my nerves was the constant profanity. The book and the 1963 version had only one swear word in it, but this movie adaption of the book was non-stop. If you've already read the book and want to see one of the movies the 1963 version is the better version.

Don't bother with this version it sucks.
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9/10
A casual chance of creating the perfect society, man and his instinct.
piratainfiltrado3 October 2005
"Lord of the flies" is a travel trough the global human spirit, made flesh in a bunch of kids. In the performance of its young actors,and with the brilliant background of William golding's great novel, we can see the world, its primal instincts and reactions. Mankind is drawn in a tragic line, and the "society" concept is re evaluated from a sober and clear point of view. In this group of kids we can watch world history, we understand the news that appear on TV. Full of sweetness that always ends ruined by reality,even the bases of religions are shown to us in a pig's head and all the incidents that surround it. "Lord of the flies" is a guideline to human behavior, a mirror of ourselves, that makes it easy to understand the world we are living in, by putting it in a far distance and situation, that ends up showing how we are alike
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7/10
Fairly compelling; not as good as it could have been.
gridoon4 January 2003
I haven't read the book, which theoretically is an advantage (it is distracting when you have to compare all the time and locate "what they missed"), but in any case there IS something missing from this film, something that could have made it much better. Is it perhaps the fact that we never get enough background information on the kids for us to truly connect to them? The actors themselves are not bad at all, and the photography does achieve some beautiful contrasts between the sea and the land. But overall the film is not exceptional in any way. (**1/2)
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9/10
Beautiful adaptation of classic story
dgasior24 December 1998
Nice adaptation, bolstered by an amazing score by Philippe Sarde. Great cinematography and breathtaking visuals.
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6/10
not great but watchable
marinus-29 April 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I don't know what it is with all the reviewers who seem to enjoy smashing this Hollywood remake of the 1960s version to pieces. Apparently they can't stand this adaptation for a more modern audience who - like me - found the earlier version technically poor, acted very poorly, and going at a stultifying pace guaranteed to put you to sleep long before the end. Yes, there's maybe a bit too much swearing in this version, and it takes several liberties with the scenario, in sharp contrast to the slavishly faithful earlier adaptation, but my feeling is that many reviewers failed to consider, for one thing, that this is an American adaptation made for an American audience and so, naturally, the Britishness of the story simply had to go out the window. Everyone does what they're best at, right? Having said this, it's time to point out why this version is actually, although far from a masterpiece, not so bad at all, certainly when compared to its predecessor: 1. It's in colour, and technically - sound, camera work, musical score - superior to it

2. It still has all the main themes and ideas of the novel despite the changes to the book plot

3. While none are for the clearly worse, several changes are actually for the better. Take the 'beast' who in the original comes falling out of the sky. In this one he's actually from among the boys, but unrecognizable, and so fitting in much better with the 'evil inside' theme (Simon: "what if there's no beast, what if it's just us"?)

4. The acting is infinitely better. Jack (and Ralph) may swear a lot but they are - and look - also very natural in their roles compared with the overall stilted acting in the other one. And Piggy - his glasses may be over-sized, but his performance is memorable. He is readily identifiable with, something that the 1963 Piggy never managed to achieve. (BTW It would have been nice to hear the 'dialogue' between Simon and the Lord of the Flies but this would have sounded ridiculous to anyone not acquainted with the book, so it was a wise decision to leave that out in both versions)

5. It seems to me that if you really wanted to adapt this novel to the screen and reach a larger audience you'd probably have to compromise even more in terms of authenticity. The story is just damn difficult to transfer, therefore this version does not deserve the kind of 'purist' criticism leveled at it on these pages. It's more entertaining and still thought provoking, and that was likely what the makers set out to create - it would be unfair to expect more than that, and the older version definitely falls short on the first of those counts.
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