The Fly (1986) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

The Fly (1986) Review

Horrorific content by ScottyHorror on October 21st, 2021 | Movie Review | Sci-Fi, Mutant, Creature, Body Horror

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It’s about a scientist who is turned into a human size fly while conducting an experiment with teleportation.

The Fly was directed by David Cronenberg (who also directed EXistenZDead RingersThe Dead Zone and Videodrome) and stars Jeff Goldblum (from Transylvania 6-5000 and Invasion Of The Body Snatchers), Geena Davis (from Beetlejuice and Transylvania 6-5000) and John Getz (from Body At Brighton Rock  and The Fly II).

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

The Fly Review

It’s incredible that a movie from 1986 can still hold such a strong relevance, even today as I write this.

The Fly” directed by David Cronenberg is a horror classic and cements Cronenberg as one of the most intriguing directors of all time. From the acting performances by Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis to the harrowing score by Howard Shore. “The Fly” is still an impactful look at what can happen when you witness a loved one go through something horrific.

With special effects that still hold up very well, “The Fly” shows Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) turn into something that shares similarities to Frankenstein’s monster. Witnessing the personal horror of Seth is Veronica (Geena Davis) who at first sees Seth as a way to further her career in journalism to a lover that truly loves Seth and his quirks. There is a strong underlying metaphor within “The Fly” that can really touch a lot of people who watch the film. Watching a person you love go through a terrifying journey is a painful experience. When the film was made, it was during the height of the AIDS/HIV epidemic in the 1980s/1990s. Many people suffering from this disease go through physical, mental and emotional changes/challenges. “The Fly” captures the theme of desperation perfectly as Seth slowly makes his brutal, draining and heartbreaking transformation into a fly. Veronica’s helplessness as she watches Seth go through the transformation into a human size fly has parallels to drug addiction and the effects it has on the people you hold dear.

This parallel can be seen after Seth goes through the telepod and starts suddenly changing his mannerisms, attitudes and physical appearance. Much like when a person starts becoming addicted to a drug like heroin. A scene that truly sticks out is when Seth is close to the final stage of his transformation. In the scene he starts talking about “insect politics”, Seth comes back to reality and says “I’ll hurt you if you stay” to Veronica. This can be interpreted into many things but what really stands out is his realization that he is truly hurting someone he loves.

There is another element in the film that isn’t talked about too much, which is Veronica being pregnant with Seth’s baby. What do you do when there is a chance that your child could be born with a horrendous condition (in this case a human fly)? Do you consider an abortion or do you have the child and see what happens? This is a subject that is still relevant today given that abortion is such a controversial topic. It’s a scary thought and David Cronenberg handles it well by portraying it somewhat neutral. You feel Veronica’s pain when she finds out about the pregnancy and a dream sequence in the film sums up the potential drama perfectly.

Worth Watching?

Overall, “The Fly” is a masterpiece of emotional filmmaking with horror elements. Much like a lot of David Cronenberg’s work, his films have an underlying theme of the human psyche in compromising situations. Definitely worth checking out!

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