Wednesday, 22 September 2010

The Fly 1986

The gore, the horror, the bodily fluids, where should I start, well, there’s no where better than the beginning. Not so different from the original film when it comes to story content; an ambitious scientist (Seth, Jeff Goldblum) working on a transportation devise which uses matter manipulation at its core, and a love interest (Veronica, Geena Davis) which is crucial to the development of the story. This time round the leading female plays a reverse role to the original, as a more reserved character when it comes to nourishing the doctor’s every whim. Seth, the young scientist, wants to change the world and Veronica, a reporter, wants to be there to record it. “The character breaks from the protagonist of 1958’s The Fly in that he can articulate the changes in his body right to the very end” this quote taken from the A.V. Club defines the major difference between the two films. David Cronenberg (Director) uses Seth’s transformation as the main focus of the story, bringing body horror up close and personal.

We see Seth use the teleportation device on himself, unaware of the fly inside mounted on the window. He emerges from the device externally unscathed and unaware of the molecular changes taking place within his body. A day after, in the middle of the night, he awakes in his pubescent state as he acquires great agility, strength and sexual prowess, all the good stuff, but with no side effects – as yet. The movie progresses with subtle changes to Seth beginning to show; he becomes irritable and more impatient, which Veronica – now his love interest – begins to recognise. His metabolism, train of thought and speech all seem to accelerate at an alarming rate making him less coherent and more cynical. These changes intensify with every scene, until the inner beast or fly starts to physically shine through.
“What’s the greatest horror in a movie about a man slowly turning into some sort of half man-half fly hybrid? It has to be what I just said, correct? Nope, try again. Okay then, it has to be all the gory effects used to show his metamorphosis, right? Well done”. Now we’re cooking this is what transforms this film into what I believe is a horror. Seth’s features become deformed with coarse hairs protruding from his body, his back arches bringing his arms closer to the ground, he starts to shed parts of his body, and acidic saliva gushes from his mouth whenever he wishes to eat. He continues to de-evolve returning to his base animalistic form, which because of the fusion with the insect, is the fly. He loses more and more of his humanity, while the loving Veronica tries her best to save what little of it is left, little realising that the child she now carries for Seth is the only part of him worth saving. "Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid."

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