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The Fly

The Fly (1986)

August. 15,1986
| Horror Science Fiction

When Seth Brundle makes a huge scientific and technological breakthrough in teleportation, he decides to test it on himself. Unbeknownst to him, a common housefly manages to get inside the device and the two become one.


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The performances transcend the film's tropes, grounding it in characters that feel more complete than this subgenre often produces.


a film so unique, intoxicating and bizarre that it not only demands another viewing, but is also forgivable as a satirical comedy where the jokes eventually take the back seat.

Bea Swanson

This film is so real. It treats its characters with so much care and sensitivity.


I've not yet read the short story on which both are based, but the majority of people seem to find this a better film than the 1958 version with Vincent Price in the role of the "interloper". I really like Cronenberg as a filmmaker (most of the time) and I certainly see how his version of the story was more challenging from a technical standpoint, but I don't necessarily agree that it's a better film all the same. The original had a quiet, sad psychological feel and told its story in an extremely economical way. It's what I'd call a very "tight" film and I really enjoyed Price as a nicer fellow and friend trying to figure out, along with the scientist's wife, what the hell was going on. Still, Cronenberg's adaptation is very good and I enjoyed the different emphasis; the way he took notions from the original tale and really made it his own, with the usual Cronenberg emphasis on very bad things happening to the human body.This movie is much more a study of Seth Brundle's character, too. We spend over half the film getting to know him and what he is up to, before his unfortunate accident with a pest and a teleportation machine. He's ably played by jeff Goldblum, whose physicality is very impressive in this demanding role, though I found the actor a little prone to mumbling his dialogue at times. Still, he is supposed to be a socially awkward fellow, so I guess it fits well. The relationship with Gina Davis's reporter character is very effective, and I liked her strong character from teh outset. Unfortunately she does somewhat degenerate and fall to pieces as the story progresses, but I can't really blame her. In contrast to Vincent Price's "nice guy" portrayal in the 1958 film, the "interloper", or I should say, the third part of the triangle, Veronica's newspaper editor, is a loathsome and despicable person who seems to finally do the right things despite himself. My girlfriend and I spent most of the film wishing he would get killed, and I'm sure Cronenberg made him so sleazy and nasty on purpose. It was frustrating and heartbreaking that Veronica kept returning to him and letting him back into her life, but again, I can't really blame her. In a way, too, it illustrates that even in the "enlightened" time this movie was made, a woman's value in work and life was often extremely underappreciated and a lot of very bad sexual politics sometimes took place. This still happens today, but I'm not sure a guy like Stathis would be able to get away with acting like this toward his female colleagues on any major newspaper, even if he were the editor.Anyway, you can see right off why Veronica and Seth value each others' company. He treats her well and is kind and passionate toward her, while she gives him a sympathetic ear and not only has a passion for his body but also the work he is doing, which sets her afire with dreams of fame and glory. Admittedly it's not nice to see her going back to Stathis and basically insisting that she's using Seth, but in Seth's company we see a rather different side to her. Her horror and revolusion by the end of the movie is really sad to see. Unfortunately it also leads to the one moment in this movie that I thought was ridiculous: the aborted um, abortion scene, with the rather transformed Seth bursting through the window and abducting Veronica. Now who in hell has a window like that in an operating room anyway? I'm not squeamish as such, but the entire abortion scene seemed a bit superfluous and maybe just an excuse for Cronenberg to play out some of his gynecological horror fetish, which of course reached its apex in Deadringers (released a couple of years later). I think the dream sequence was sufficient and horrible enough as it was, and anyway, you could argue that the "aborted abortion" scene became the excuse to release this movie's non-Cronenberg-directed bad copycat sequel.Make no mistake though, this film is considered an 80s classic for a reason. I may not rate it as highly as some and I certainly don't think it's as good as some of Cronberg's other, weirder films, but it's still better than some of what he's done lately (the "mature" A History of Violence being possibly his worst film to date) and it's still quite an experience. The horror of the situation really creeps up on you and the first half of the movie includes a lot of sweet scenes that almost lull the viewer into a false sense of security. There's a nice little tribute to the 1958 film near the end and the whole thing becomes gross and revolting in that 70s/80s Cronenberg way you'll either love or hate depending on your personality. I dig it quite a bit; it's one of his very personal touches you can almost always count upon. My only other criticism is that I find the music to be a little dull and too bombastic/mainstream Hollywood, although there were some nice "sad" motifs. I think a sparser, perhaps more electronic-infused score would have suited this thing well. But it's ok! Good film and a must for 80s body horror fans.

Matt Greene

Only Cronenberg could remake the great B-movie original with as much humor as he does terror. The visual effects and makeup in the body horror is undeniable and supremely disgusting, but the way Goldblum's Brundle handles his transformation is dryly and unnervingly funny. Goldblum and Davis are both so great, and the way the movie peals away thematic layers of purity and sex and procreation goes far beyond the original.


My all time favorite horror film and everyone who watch it and like it knew it is a true David Cronenberg masterpiece and of course his best film! It is a stylish science-fiction horror film based on George Langelaan's 1957 short story of the same name. The film tells of an eccentric scientist who, after one of his experiments goes wrong, slowly turns into a fly-hybrid creature. My all time favorite creature horror film I have this movie in my video Blu-ray collection and I love 80's horror films to death.Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) is a scientist working on a project which is a teleportation device that can teleport molecular structures until one day he experiments on himself with it accidentally lending a Fly into the machine with him being fused. He seems normal after that but days later he is changing and even his sexy journalist girlfriend (Geena Davis) even starts to notice his weird changes he grows through each day like if he's decaying and that he will soon become a monster.Powerful and horrifying remake of the 1958 Vincient Price Science Fiction horror classic! Canadian Sci-fi/horror/thriller mastermind David Croenberg sets up another masterpiece much like "Eastern Promises", "Videodrome", "Naked Lunch", "Scanners", "The Brood" or even "A History of Violence" for proving he's a genius on all levels. This one nearly tops the original in some ways using state of the art special effects and gore from Chris Walas ("Gremlins" and "Scanners") which are quite disgusting to this day like the stomach churning dough nut scene. The performances are just flawless and the film also has emotional which makes this a great Sci-fi horror movie with pure though and disturbing images, this one isn't for weak stomaches but it is a brilliant movie that goes into our deepest fears and mind. A winner all the way! Score A+ 10/10 really recommend you to see this movie you want be disappointed you will be thrilled like I was.The Fly is a 1986 American science-fiction horror film directed and co-written by David Cronenberg. Produced by Brooksfilms and distributed by 20th Century Fox, the film stars Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis and John Getz. Loosely based on George Langelaan's 1957 short story of the same name.10/10 Grade: A+ Studio: 20th Century Fox Starring: Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis, John Getz Director: David Cronenberg Producer: Stuart Cornfeld Screenplay: Charles Edward Pogue, David Cronenberg Rated: R Running Time: 1 Hrs. 36 Mins. Budget: $15.000.000 Box Office: $40,456,565

Caleb Zero

To me, The Fly is the crowning jewel of 80s Sci-Fi horror. The animatronics, the special effects make-up, the acting, the story... It all makes for a great movie. From start to finish, this movie is a masterpiece.What I loved about the movie right off the bat was that it did not mess around. The movie starts in the middle of a conversation between the 2 main characters, and Brundle is explaining exactly what the movie is about. From then on the story just flows brilliantly, with no dilly-dallying. There's no mystery, there's no ambiguity, its just a story about an inventor and his machine.The artistry that went into the make-up, and the Brundle-Fly possibly make this movie stand out as the most realistic looking 80s horror. The Fly didn't need to be shadowed, or ambiguously shot, to hide any flaws.Jeff Goldblum's acting is creepy, and suits the character so well. You really got a feeling of discomfort for Gina Davis's character.One scene that really caught me by surprise was the baboon and the fly. It really baffles me how they were able to film a fly and a baboon together in the same shot, and seem as though they could direct them both with ease.