April 15, 2010

The Fly (1986)

Body Horror. It's what David Cronenberg is best known for when it comes to the genre. He knows how to work with a basic idea of "Would you still love me if I was horribly disfigured" and go off in whatever direction he see's fit. He has the ability to tell an amazing story, while still grossing you out in the process. But still...you can't look away, as you're fully enamored in the story which is unfolding, regardless of the graphic nature.

'The Fly' takes an idea, develops it quite well, and has genuinely terrifying special effects until the horrific climax. The film does something that not a lot of Horror films do anymore... which is pay attention to the personalities of its protagonists (Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis), it actually makes you care about them. Because of this, there is a great level of serious reflection on the very nature of human mortality when faced with such an ordeal.

Like the great director that he is, Cronenberg overwhelms the viewer with a mixture of drama, misery and repulsiveness. You feel just as helpless as the characters are as you painfully wait for the unhappy ending. The screenplay is filled with metaphors and the romance between Goldblum and Davis is beautiful. The special effects are definitely still jarring to the senses and they don't look the least bit dated by today's standards.

Things get really disgusting as Jeff Goldblum slowly turns into a huge fly. The transformation is very gross in certain spots, and certainly gut-wrenching to witness. You can just feel his girlfriend's anguish and horror as she witnesses Goldblums' incredible physical and mental change. Geena Davis gives a convincing performance in the role, harboring a great sense of love, and the pain and confusion that comes with the task she must face. To see a man, who loved life so much, and finally making it in life by meeting the woman of his dreams, succeed in his six year goal in inventing Teleportation, then losing it all by transforming into a monster, is enough to put a tear into your eye.

Without a doubt, to get a good grasp on what 'Body Horror' is...give this film a view.

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