The Fly

The Fly ★★★★★

This manages to be perhaps the most accessible Cronenberg film (at least from his Sci-Fi and Horror work) and also manages to possibly be his most well polished film overall. It follows Seth who is played by Jeff Goldblum in his best performance as the socially-awkward and work-obsessed scientist. Just as he invents two machines that are able to teleport objects he comes across a reporter named Victoria (Geena Davis) and he's at first hesitant to get his story covered until the two of them make an emotional connection and hit it off. After a few attempts with the machine some which work well and some that don't Seth is drunk one night and does an experiment on himself but little does he know when he hops into the machine a fly get's in there and transforms him into (The Fly).

Goldblum is amazing at playing Seth so convincingly as he's a man who's so obsessed with his experiments that they very much own him, him and Geena Davis together are great as they play two very different kinds of people brilliantly. Victoria is more down to earth and clearly gets out a lot more that before Seth's transformation into The Fly the more they have sex and just communicate Seth starts to see more to the world then work and really begins to be able to feel and connect more to another human. Of course he's still an obsessive lunatic of a scientist but the relationship the two have is so touching that his very transformation and downfall is all the more heartbreaking because they both become characters that we care about and create a romance that seems like it's about to last.

The special effects in the film are absolutely top notch, really being some of the best looking in history and as usual with Cronenberg it's always inventive and at times disgusting, horrifying and brilliantly hilarious. The tonal shifts are just fantastic and definitely one of the most impressive things about The Fly is how genuinely sad it is, it's not just a thought-provoking Sci-Fi and disturbing Horror film, it's those things but also a very human drama which goes to show the dangers of Seth's obsessions. We see why living to much in your own world can be especially dangerous the more you stray away from reality.

The direction and cinematography is typically great when we're talking about Cronenberg and Mark Irwin, also Howard Shore's soundtrack is always fitting, completely used in the right moments to suit the mood of the film at all times. It's also just great how many ways The Fly can be looked at, it's a story of a tragic romance which is especially devastating at the end. It can be seen as the fears of growing old and the fears of getting a terminal illness that you're powerless over. It can also be seen as a story of addiction which absolutely fits in it's context and when it came out was massively seen to be about aids. I think that these ideas put together make sense and any or all can work for each viewer. But it's above all an exceptionally well made masterpiece that completely works in every way it possibly can and is quite possibly the quintessential Body Horror and that says a lot.

Steve liked these reviews

All