Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Fly (1986) Review

The Fly posterDirector: David Cronenberg
Stars: Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis
Genre: Science fiction, Horror

Here it is, the remake to the classic 1958 The Fly. Both films I watched and loved as a child, so nostalgia resonates in both of them. But now, re-watching them both, as a much more film knowledgeable person, which one holds up better?

Well, I still think the original is far superior, and I seem to be quite alone in that opinion. I won't do much comparing in this review though, I want to try and judge this film on its own.

Since I will try not to do much comparing right now, which is kind of hard to do, this review may be a tad on the short side. Nonetheless, onward we go.

I'm not a terribly big fan of Jeff Goldblum, I recognize his charm, I just never really got to be super fond of him, this film however is definitely one of his better performances. He did a great job both as scientist and as monster. Geena Davis did a solid job as well, though I'm not much of a fan of her either.

One thing this film is often praised for is its special effects. I'd have to concur on that point, they are quite well-done and damn scary and even disgusting. I cringed every time Geena Davis so much as touched the monster. Ugh, and that white vomit stuff. AND THE FUCKING FINGERNAILS!

It's pretty gross. Don't kid yourself, I love some great gore and splatter films, and I never really have a problem with it. I got through this one pretty well, and I have seen much worse/better gore in film, but this is pretty impressive for a film as popular as it was.

I did have a bit of a problem with the romance in here. I don't mind romance if it's well done and believable but here it felt a bit unnatural. It felt forced and undeveloped, too fast perhaps. Which brings me to the general pacing of the film: I didn't like it. The pacing felt off. I guess it's because this is more of a thriller than the original so it went by much faster, but it just felt wrong. There was no build-up, and the character development never really took off enough to where you can sympathize much with them. Though towards the end there were some brief moments where I sympathized with the monster.

Jeff Goldblum in The Fly throwing up

The appearance of the monster, or fly rather, or brundlefly rather, though it is an ever-changing appearance, is pretty good. Disturbing, sickening, and good. If you're not familiar with the film you'll probably be quite surprised by the appearance of the fly. And one of the great parts of the film is how we get to see the gradual change from man to monster.

There is an example of great use of shadows toward the end of the film which I can't say much about without spoiling. The only real nod I noticed towards the original film was that absurdly large metal sliding door.

The whole journalist character is something I really hate in films. It just seems so overdone and cliche. All journalists seem to be the same in films. Bleh.

Overall it is a worthy remake and a welcomed addition to the genre, though not nearly as amazing as the original.

3.5/5 stars
+Great effects
+Can be disturbing at times
-Doesn't live up to the original
-Bad romance and character development

Sequel: The Fly II

Purchase The Fly on Amazon: Blu-Ray - DVD - Stream

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