top of page
  • Writer's pictureAllan Major

The Fly 1986 Reviewed

Updated: 3 days ago

Featured Image For The Fly 1986 Reviewed. A shadowy figure trapped in a bright teleportation beam, with cables wrapped like tentacles and the silhouette of a monstrous fly looming over.
A brilliant mind, a monstrous mistake - The Fly: When science slips, nightmares take wing.

They say change is the taste of honey – sweet, even intoxicating. But 'they' haven't met Seth Brundle. He's a brilliant but eccentric scientist, hunched over glowing circuits and muttering promises to change the world as we know it. His grand ambition lies in teleportation, but not just the lifeless shifting of inanimate objects. His telepods are meant to break down and rebuild living flesh, ushering in a future where distance is but a phantom.

Key Takeaways The Fly 1986

  • The Dangers of Hubris: Seth Brundle's unchecked ambition and disregard for potential consequences leads to his tragic downfall. The film serves as a stark warning about the dangers of scientific experimentation without careful consideration and caution.

  • The Corruption of the Body: The film graphically illustrates the physical decay and transformation of Seth Brundle. This emphasizes the fragility of the human body and the terrifying potential for corruption and metamorphosis.

  • Loss of Identity: As Brundlefly takes over, Seth's humanity slowly erodes. This highlights the themes of selfhood and the terrifying possibility of losing control over one's mind and body.

  • Tragedy of Love: The relationship between Seth and Veronica begins with promise but descends into a twisted, destructive dynamic. It underscores the potential for love to turn monstrous when warped by unimaginable circumstances.

  • The Power (and Price) of Technology: Brundle's teleportation device holds vast potential but comes with a devastating price. The film raises questions about scientific advancement and the unpredictable consequences of tampering with forces beyond our control.

  • The Allure of the Grotesque: Cronenberg's use of body horror creates a disturbing fascination, forcing the viewer to confront the vulnerability of the human form. This fascination is both repulsive and captivating.

  • Lingering Impact: The film's disturbing imagery and tragic themes don't easily fade, making it a horror piece that stays with the viewer long after the credits roll.

Woman watches "The Fly," her expression mirroring the character's growing fear and desperation.
She witnesses the man's descent into monstrousness, the tragedy unfolding before her eyes stirring a mix of horror and pity.

Before Brundle, there was the 50s classic, a little pulpy, a little camp. This isn't that movie. Sure, the premise is familiar, but David Cronenberg, a master of the viscerally disturbing, has sunk his teeth into the concept and transformed it into a creature of pure, unsettling dread. This Fly isn't a man with an insect head; it's something far more insidious slithering beneath the surface.

Jeff Goldblum plays Seth with a jittery energy that crackles between genius and instability. He's all sharp angles and lanky limbs, the kind of man whose brilliance borders on blinding him to common sense. In walks Geena Davis as Veronica Quaife, a science reporter drawn to the flame. She sees the potential in Seth's work, but more, she sees the man – vulnerable, eager, a little bit dangerous even before the accident. And the accident... well, it's a simple fly that changes everything.

The hum of that housefly isn't some ominous buzz; it's a siren call to hubris. In that one careless moment, the lines blur. The insect in the telepod, Seth's DNA... they become less distinct, a buzzing, nauseous fusion. Cronenberg doesn't rush this horror, not at first. Brundle seems fine at first, even enhanced, flush with super-strength and a newfound agility. But change isn't kind, nor is it subtle.

Man watches "The Fly" with a haunted look in his eyes, the character's deterioration forcing him to confront his own fragility.
The relentless body horror of the film awakens a primal fear – the terrifying potential of disease and decay lurking within us all.

A Must See From The 1980s Horror Movies 

Brundle sprouts bristles, sheds skin, and we see the man fade bit by bit. With him fades the love story Cronenberg has so carefully woven. This is a gruesome, perverse kind of 'Beauty and the Beast'. Veronica isn't a Disney princess; her horror is born from a love twisted and turned rancid by Brundle's metamorphosis. His mind fractures alongside his body. There's jealousy, animal possessiveness, and underneath it all, a desperate plea for a normalcy that has forever slipped from his grasp.

This is where 'The Fly' transcends cheap splatter and enters the realm of tragedy. The gore - oh, there's gore, the kind that made hardened critics squirm in 1986 – is just the surface.

The oozing wounds and dissolving flesh are mere symptoms of the true horror: the loss of self. Goldblum embodies this with horrifying brilliance. His Brundle contorts, melts, a creature barely clinging to the tattered remnants of a man. He's dubbed "Brundlefly", a monster of his own making.

And yet, Cronenberg doesn't let us look away. He forces us to witness the end: the frantic crawl along the ceiling, the desperate dream of fusion with Veronica, the final pleas for a mercy that can no longer be granted. It's a testament to the director's skill that in the film's most grotesque moments, there's a sliver of terrible pity that claws at the heart.

'The Fly' isn't a fun horror film. It lingers long after the screen fades to black, a grotesque testament to the dangers of unchecked ambition and the fragility of the human form. Is this Cronenberg's best film? Arguments will rage, but one thing's for sure: it's one of the few horror movies that burrows under your skin like a hungry maggot and refuses to leave.

And that is The Fly 1986 Reviewed. Another great classic horror movie

Stay tuned for more horror movie reviews

If You Liked The Fly 1986 You Might Also Like These Films

  • Videodrome (1983): Another Cronenberg classic, this film delves into body horror, hallucinations, and the blurring lines between reality and technology. Max Renn, the head of a sleazy TV station, becomes obsessed with a signal called "Videodrome", which induces disturbing visions and physical transformations. Themes of media control and the corruption of the flesh resonate with "The Fly".

  • Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989): This Japanese cyberpunk horror is a wild, surreal, and visually stunning exploration of the fusion of man and machine. A businessman accidentally runs over a "metal fetishist" and finds himself slowly transforming into a grotesque metal creature. While stylistically distinct from "The Fly", the themes of metamorphosis and bodily violation will appeal to horror fans.

  • The Thing (1982): John Carpenter's masterpiece focuses on a shapeshifting alien that infiltrates an Antarctic research station. Paranoia runs high as the creature imitates its victims, creating distrust and a terrifying breakdown of order within the team. Like "The Fly", this film showcases incredible practical effects and a creeping sense of dread as the characters face a monstrous, unknowable threat.

  • Re-Animator (1985): A darkly comedic horror classic about a medical student who discovers a serum that reanimates the dead. This leads to increasingly gruesome and chaotic experiments with grotesque results. While less psychologically focused than "The Fly", it shares the themes of hubris, scientific experimentation gone wrong, and truly shocking practical effects.

  • Altered States (1980): A scientist obsessed with exploring alternate states of consciousness experiments with sensory deprivation and hallucinogenic drugs. This leads to disturbing physical and psychological changes. "Altered States" shares a focus on the dangers of pushing the boundaries of science, as well as a strong element of body horror as the protagonist's form twists and warps.

The Fly 1986 Reviewed FAQs

Q: What is "The Fly" about? 

A: "The Fly" is a 1986 science fiction body horror film directed by David Cronenberg. It tells the story of Seth Brundle, a brilliant but eccentric scientist who invents a teleportation device. During an experiment, a housefly slips into the 'telepod' with him, causing their genetic material to fuse at the molecular level. This triggers a horrific, gradual transformation in Seth as he slowly mutates into a grotesque hybrid of human and insect.

Q: Who are the main actors in "The Fly"? 

A: * Jeff Goldblum stars as Seth Brundle, delivering a nuanced and increasingly disturbing performance of a man losing his humanity.

  • Geena Davis plays journalist Veronica Quaife, Seth's love interest. Her role witnesses the tragedy unfold and grounds the film with a complex mixture of horror, love, and pity.

  • John Getz portrays Stathis Borans, Veronica's editor and former lover, adding a layer of tension and jealousy to the plot.

Q: What are some notable aspects of "The Fly"? 

A: * Groundbreaking Special Effects: The film won an Academy Award for its stunningly realistic and visceral special effects, particularly the makeup design by Chris Walas and Stephan Dupuis. The transformation scenes are iconic in horror cinema.

  • Cronenberg's Direction: As a pioneer of the body horror genre, David Cronenberg's masterfully crafted film delves into themes of bodily decay, metamorphosis, and the fragility of identity.

  • Performances: Jeff Goldblum's portrayal of Brundle's descent into madness is a hallmark of the film, while Geena Davis delivers a complex and emotionally charged performance.

Q: What is the significance of the house fly in "The Fly"? 

A: The housefly is far more than a plot device. It serves as a symbol of both contamination and the unpredictable nature of scientific experimentation. Its presence in the telepod shatters Seth's notions of control and highlights the potentially devastating consequences of tampering with nature.

Q: How was the remake of "The Fly" received by critics? 

A: David Cronenberg's 1986 remake of "The Fly" was met with critical acclaim. Many considered it a superior re-imagining to the 1958 original, praising its increased intensity, psychological depth, and unforgettable special effects.

Q: Is "The Fly" considered a cult classic? 

A: Absolutely! "The Fly" has become a cult classic within the horror genre. Its shocking visuals, memorable characters, and exploration of existential themes continue to captivate and disturb audiences decades after its release.

Q: Who wrote the screenplay for "The Fly"? 

A: The screenplay for "The Fly" was co-written by Charles Edward Pogue and David Cronenberg. It was loosely based on George Langelaan's 1957 short story, allowing Cronenberg to put his unique stamp on the themes and style of the film.


bottom of page