Friday, 7 October 2016

The Fly (1986)

Given teenage-me's love of Alien and Videodrome, I'm not sure why I've never previously seen this renowned David Cronenberg film,  Whatever the reason, I was reminded several months ago to correct that oversight, and picked up the DVD.  Even then I had plans of an October horror theme for the blog, though, so I waited until now to watch it.

The basic plot is simple enough: scientist Seth Brundle reveals to journalist Veronica Quaife that he's discovered how to teleport inanimate objects from place to place.  She's understandably impressed and wants to write a magazine article about it, but he persuades her to do a book on the project instead, with the final chapter to come once he's successfully teleported himself.

Unfortunately, when Brundle comes to that climactic experiment, he unintentionally traps a fly inside the teleporter with him.  Now he emerges from the other end of the experience with no signs of any ill effects, but I'm sure it's no spoiler to say that this will not lead to good things.

The Fly is widely considered one of the great horror films, with critics and audiences alike being hugely impressed by Jeff Goldblum's performance and by the film's special effects.  Having finally seen it, I can confirm that its reputation is deserved, though it was quite a different film from what I expected.

You see, somehow I had it in my head that this would be a "monster movie", where Brundle would transform into some kind of abomination and then go on a rampage.  And this is not that film.  Yes, Brundle is gradually transformed into an abomination, but it is that transformation that is the primary source of horror.  Which given Cronenberg's frequent exploration of body horror themes should probably not surprise me.

This is definitely not a film that everyone will like.  If you're squeamish or not into horror in general, for instance, you should definitely stay away.  But if you do like horror films, and have a fairly strong stomach for grue and gore, then this movie definitely deserves your time.

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