This film is the epitome of body horror, done by the master of body horror: David Cronenberg. If you have never seen The Fly, you’ll definitely be saying to yourself “Ew, David”.
Jeff Goldblum plays Seth Brundle, a brilliant scientist that has successfully developed a working transporter. When he shows it to Geena Davis’ Veronica Quaife there are still a few kinks to work out with transporting living tissue. Vis-à-vis keeping the insides in. In an impulsive moment, after he corrects the issue, he decided to transport himself as the first human subject. However, he was so preoccupied with whether he could, and didn’t stop to think if he should. As time goes on, he slowly realizes that something went wrong and his body experiences a terrifying metamorphosis.
Review of The Fly (1986)
The Fly still works. David Cronenberg, the director, has made his career off of pushing the limits, and in this movie, by doing so, he creates one of the best body horror movies ever filmed.
This film won an Oscar for best makeup for good reason. Seth Brundle’s slow transformation moves from the superficial to the grotesque so gradually, that you still think of him as a man even when he becomes a straight up monster. That is actually a big benefit to the film, because you maintain empathy for an utterly disgusting creature up to the final shot of the film.
Geena Davis and Jeff Goldblum work really well together, and have excellent chemistry on screen, which makes sense because they eventually married for several years. Davis’ performance really grounds the film for the audience, because we are really watching all of the events of the film from the perspective of Veronica Quaife. Her reactions of wonder and horror really sells the special effects that we witness.
Jeff Goldblum is the perfect casting for a mad scientist, as the character’s eccentricities are utterly believable coming from him. Although, I have to say, this is only about 50% Goldbluhm compared to how eccentric he is today.
Overall, the story, characters and special effects are all masterful and don’t age a bit in the 36 years since its release.
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