What can I say? To me, the eighties was the last true decade of cinema. Studios were more willing to take risks back then, we’re talking about a time where they made kids toys for horror movies. Now , it seems like everything has to be based on an existing IP. Not that remakes are always bad, in fact, that’s another thing the eighties seemed to do right.
David Cronenberg is an amazing director. His ability to tell a dark and enthralling tale has gained him a rightful place among the genre greats. As much as I respect the original, The Fly is no exception and I think Cronenberg’s film is far superior than the original. In the original, when the scientist conducts his experiment, his head and hand get switched with that of a fly. So, he spends most of the movie with his head covered with a sheet and writes on a chalkboard to communicate. In the remake it’s a gradual transformation, one played out visually. The movie stars Jeff Goldblum in the role of Seth Brundle, an off-beat scientist who just made a breakthrough. Goldblum’s performance is something to witness, he shows so much range. From being warm and charismatic, to down right maniacal. I would go so far as to say that this is his one the best performances. Even when Seth is going through his metamorphosis, we see that he’s looking at it enthusiastically as new research. Geena Davis is also great as Veronica Quaife, who is smitten by Seth at first. They have stellar chemistry throughout the whole film. She also beautifully conveys her concern for Brundle when he begins to change.
The practical effects also add to the allure of this film. The team really outdid themselves and while watching I always have to ask myself why CGI even exists. I understand that it’s faster to do stuff in post production with CGI, but you are sacrificing so much by doing that. When you watch movies like this or John Carpenter’s The Thing, the effects become stars as well. It was art, and not just an afterthought. It saddens me when I realize that this art-form is dying.
The Fly is widely available on Blu-Ray and DVD.