The Fly (1986)
Directed by David Cronenberg
Starring Jeff Goldblum & Geena Davis
Rotten Tomatoes’ Top 100 Horror Movies List
I hadn’t seen The Fly since I was a kid and I don’t remember liking it very much the first time. It being a classic and on everyone’s horror list, I decided to rewatch it.
It was funny watching actors that I know from other things in their younger days. The movie starts like any other: young scientist Seth (Jeff Goldblum) finds young journalist Veronica (Geena Davis), takes her back to his place and shows her his teleportation machine *waggles eyebrows* …
No, really, he showed her a teleportation machine. Oh, wait, he had no idea she was a reporter? Way to lower your bar and not ask a single relevant question before showing her the cool toys in your bat cave. She leaves and he stalks her the next day to the editor’s office, who happens to be her ex-boyfriend. DUN DUN DUN *eyeroll* Naturally, he begged her not to tell anyone by offering her the chance to record the whole process and release it later.
Okay. It sounds like a sweet deal, but we’ve handed no Non-Disclosure Agreements to the ex.
Veronica runs off, back to Seth’s flat. They record some stuff, talk a bunch. then, unsurprisingly. they have sex. He gets stabbed in the back by a microchip in bed, but. honestly. It can’t be fun if you’re fornicating surface isn’t dangerous, right?! (Rule #5, dude, seriously).
She, then, has an altercation with the obsessive ex, who can’t take a hint. They move on to transporting a monkey. Monkey comes out inside out, but still alive. Yuck. He cooks a steak and figures out the issue, then he transports the monkey and it comes out just fine! Cheers!
Champagne is had, creepy ex intrudes, she goes to tell creepy stalker ex off. Seth is sad and decides to teleport himself but. oh no. a fly got inside because why conduct these experiments in a sterile environment. She comes back and he tells her what he did. She is sad, but understands. I’m sure they have more sex. Actually, lots of sex is had in this movie (including marathon sex). Veronica looks great, Seth looks awkward.
Now that the boring stuff is over…
Seth begins to change – little hairs here, weird face stuff there – and he’s got a shitty attitude. At this point, the film is just going over his gross changes as he tries to force Veronica into the machine. When she refuses, he kicks her out, then picks up some drunk chick at the bar, bangs her and tries to force her into teleport. Of course, Veronica comes in to save the day! Girl runs out, Seth kicks Veronica out in a fit of rage. Seth looks in a mirror and, man, does he look rough.
Then, dude PULLS OUT HIS FINGERNAILS! I had forgotten that fingernail shit makes my skin crawl. As old as the movie is, you can see the prosthetics, but still… holy shit. At this point, he has figured out what happened during his teleportation and has no idea how to fix it. Weeks later, he reaches out to Veronica. His ear falls off, he can barely walk, and he throws up when he goes to eat food. It’s a hot mess. She leaves, confides in creepy ex, then goes back and Seth feels amazing. He looks like a mutant. No longer dateable. There is a lot of crying on her part. She leaves again only to find out she’s pregnant! DUN DUN DUN! Cause there is nothing safer than marathon sex on a couch.
She wants it out out out and her creepy stalker ex takes her to do it in the middle of the night, because she had a nightmare that she gave birth to a maggot (oh, yeah, think about that the next time you have sex with a stranger). Seth kidnaps her from the clinic and brings her back to the batcave.
He tries to put them both in the machine and ex creepy stalker tries to save her. He kinda does, gets turns into a human sized fly and gets fused with some metal. Roll credits.
Took a long time for me to feel like this was an actual horror movie. I fully understand that there is set up needed to to make a story great, but I could have easily mistaken this for some romantic comedy or drama in the beginning. I saw it once; I don’t need to watch it again. It was good for what it was, but I feel it lacked a lot. It felt more like the director was trying to get a jump scare out of Seth’s random mutations.
I deem it thus: not scary, with tiny side dish of skin crawl for the fingernail removal.