The Fly (1986)

<strong class="MovieTitle">The Fly</strong> (1986)

(On TV, June 2013) As amazing at it may seem, I had actually forgotten that The Fly was directed by David Cronenberg.  Don’t worry, though: within moments, it all came rushing back… as did the memories of being utterly terrified by bits of the film at age 12.  Seen from the perspective of an adult, The Fly isn’t as terrifying at a purely visual level.  It is, however, quite a bit more insidious about its body horror and the gradual devolution of its character into a mindless beast.  Jeff Goldblum can still look upon this as one of his most defining performances as the mutating scientist, while Geena Davis strikes just the right notes as a journalist who finds herself with a lot more grief than she expected chasing a good story.  What really doesn’t work so well is John Getz’s character arc going from creepy ex-boyfriend to shotgun-wielding saviour.  Cronenberg’s craft means that the film still, more than twenty-five years later, works quite well despite analog effects and sometimes-torpid pacing.  The Fly is worth a look, and not just as part of Cronenberg’s filmography.

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