Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis, John Getz, Joy Boushel, David Cronenberg
Part of the Classic Cronenberg Season
Considered fairly gruesome in its day, the original 1958 The Fly looks incredibly mild when compared to this 1986 remake. Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis star as Seth Brundle, a self-involved research scientist, and Veronica Quaife, a science magazine reporter. Inviting Veronica to his lab, Seth prepares to demonstrate his 'telepod', which can theoretically transfer matter through space. As they grow closer over the next few weeks, she inadvertently goads Seth into experimenting with human beings rather than inanimate objects. Seth himself enters the telepod, preparing to transmit himself through the ether – but he doesn't know that he is sharing the device with a tiny housefly...
The Fly succeeds on many levels. Cronenberg has never elicited better performances from his players – Goldblum is sublime in a rare leading role, Davis is also on top form, and as a couple, they are so convincing and appealing that one regrets knowing that their love story will soon become a tragic horror movie. As a remake, The Fly transcends the original, taking it in new directions and exploring its underutilised potential. Whereas the original degenerated into a campy fly hunt, the remake opts for a slow metamorphosis from man to fly that develops as a disease might. This gives Cronenberg time to examine the implications of such a process, meditating upon our fear of disease, death and change.
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