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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 18.37%
Average: 5.1%
Pretty Bad: 5.1%
Total Crap: 6.12%

3 reviews, 80 user ratings

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Fly, The (1986)
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by Scott Weinberg

"Dark, disturbing and just plain gory, easily Cronenberg's best."
5 stars

Remade (in theme only, apparently) from the 1958 classic (although it's pretty darn silly) by Canada's most joylessly visual and just plain bloody director, David Cronenberg, this is a shocking and moving horror film. Using only three characters, this one is equal parts of gruesome mayhem, touching tragedy, man vs. nature parable, and a non-too subtle allegory for human frailty in the face of disease.

This movie will humble you. Some of the more graphic special effects are so over the top, many of the weak-stomached set won't make it through the first half. Many of the familiar 'don't screw with Mother Nature' themes are explored, yet here they aren't beaten into your head. It's directed with a sure hand, and there's not a wasted scene in the movie.

Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum, quite great here) is a scientist who can't stand driving in cars and lives alone in this big creepy loft. Seems he's creating these 'telepods' that will teleport matter from point A to point B (once he gets all the bugs out, of course.) He shows reporter Ronnie (Geena Davis, looking like an attractive foal) all his hardware. She is rather skeptical, but they soon get nude together, and...BOOM...she's writing a novel about his skills. Our villain is her editor, Stathis, which is an interesting name in that I've have never heard it before or since I saw this movie. John Getz plays this character with equal parts slime and malice, yet he seems to be the most realistic character on display here.

In a fit of childish jealousy, Seth gets liquored up and decides to take the telepods for a dry run. Too bad he didn't invest in some Raid, because the pesky title insect gets into pod two, and well...things get icky. Seth grows strange hairs and bumps, body parts start falling off (look carefully when he opens the medicine cabinet), and his personality begins to get a little less charming. Add to the stress that Ronnie may now be pregnant, and we have the potential for a true gorefest.

For something this potentially silly to work, the actors need to play it completely straight. This is a somber, serious horror film. By the second half of this movie, all suspension of disbelief is pretty much in Cronenberg's hands. You accept all of it, thanks to the humanity and authentic touch of this skilled director and actors. Pity and fear mix with revulsion as we see what Seth is becoming. It's difficult to take, but it's as hard not to watch. A brilliant horror movie.

Shocking, tragic, fascinating and exciting, this is a remake that easily outdoes it's predecessor. Stark and realistic, a depiction of sympathetic characters in a horrifying scenario. Offers several standout scenes with a satisfying conclusion. Should be taken with valium.

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originally posted: 10/21/99 07:55:28
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Horror Remakes: For more in the Horror Remakes series, click here.

User Comments

2/13/17 morris campbell gross the original is better 2 stars
1/17/14 Spencer T. Chang A true masterpiece. Goldblum is superb, but Geena Davis gives the film its heart and soul. 5 stars
6/07/13 David Hollingsworth A very superior remake that makes you cringe in a great way 5 stars
6/27/09 brian Help him. Please help him. 4 stars
4/13/09 Dane Youssef One of the greatest sci-fi ever made. Goldblum and Cronenberg, Davis and make immortality. 5 stars
3/29/09 Phineasandhiskillerspear Worst vomit-inducing moment? Jeff Goldblum in his BVD's.BUUUUULEEEEEGGGHHHH 1 stars
1/20/09 Camilo Espinoza A Cronemberg's masterpiece 5 stars
4/19/08 mark madsen one of a kind movie 4 stars
4/05/08 smrtpants has hollywood appeal while yet maintaining that cdn/indie film quality - bravo! 5 stars
4/04/08 Colleen Cousineau Excellent remake, and the special effects were tops for the time. 5 stars
4/02/08 Kaijumorpher Great movie, and those who give this movie 1 star don't have an eye for what's good. 5 stars
3/17/08 Zachary Don't bother, it's a terrible movie with a very lame story. 1 stars
3/14/08 Wes Dave did a great job bringing this up to date! 4 stars
2/18/08 blyskalp Good Movie ok 3 stars
2/18/08 debdahlin Loved the original movie - thought this was well done 4 stars
2/17/08 Donald D A horror masterpiece, simply put. 5 stars
1/15/08 mb Nothing there to watch ... empty substance ... degrading to viewer 1 stars
8/22/07 Jubei A sci-fi nightmare/ tragedy.The final 20 minutes leave you speechless. 4 stars
1/29/07 action movie fan a rarae remake that.s good! engrossing as well as slimy-recommended 4 stars
10/27/06 David Cohen Gory special effects almost make up for the paper thin characters, almost 3 stars
10/23/06 Lindsay the ending was bad, over all not a great movie it looked cheap too 2 stars
6/27/06 millersxing Kafkaesque and grotesque. A monster movie for grownups. 5 stars
5/03/06 Josh Standlee What are you people talking about?! You're all witches! Witches!! 2 stars
3/11/06 Dillon A horror movie thats able to raise the hairs and stir the emotions 5 stars
1/22/06 Sam Justus One of the greatest horror movies ever. Really emotional. I fucking cried at the end. 5 stars
11/20/05 Bestit I of the best horror films in the last few decades. 5 stars
11/16/05 Adrian Definately reaches the Classic status, and possibly goes past it. 5 stars
11/14/05 Kumble Yes, it's brilliant...don't listen to that last skid mark. 5 stars
10/30/05 K. Sear Very enjoyable but not brilliant. 4 stars
10/26/05 Crumbcake David Cronenberg's best film. 5 stars
10/25/05 ShadowFace5 On my Top 10 Horror list. 5 stars
10/24/05 Suk-R-Punch A science-fiction/horror masterwork! Cronenberg is the MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
10/19/05 Gumbo Yes, the "Collector's" DVD is just amazing...for an amazing film. Incredible! 5 stars
10/15/05 OodlesofOs A sci-fi/horror masterpiece and Cronenberg's best film! Get the CE DVD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
10/14/05 Agent Sands One of the greatest horror movies ever. Really emotional. I fucking cried at the end. 5 stars
10/14/05 gasp Truly is one of the greatest horro films of the last 20 years. 5 stars
10/13/05 Bryant Gumby This has been in my all-time top ten list for's just incredible. 5 stars
10/11/05 Biz-e One of the best horror films ever made. Pure genius on every level. 5 stars
9/23/05 Jakub This is Cronenberg at the top of his game! EXCELLENT!!!!!!!! 5 stars
9/19/05 mung An amazing, emotional, grotesque thrill-ride...Kafka-esque and brilliant! 5 stars
9/16/05 drippy Perhaps, the finest remake ever crafted. 5 stars
8/01/05 Jeff Anderson Disgusting special effects aside, this was a great & emotionally effective horror remake. 5 stars
5/15/05 Indrid Cold Surprisingly weighty and emotional. The graphic horror is secondary to the drama. 4 stars
2/18/05 Naka Cronenberg's most accessible film, and that's not an insult. Great! 5 stars
10/25/04 Keith A remake that is 100 times better than the original! 5 stars
10/20/04 Andile A visual surealist orgy 5 stars
8/14/04 Alien assassin A great sci-fi thriller - shame about the gross content 5 stars
7/10/04 Daveman Better characterisation would have risen the film above the level of competent remake. 3 stars
3/26/04 Teddy Bear one of the best horror/sci-fi movies ever made! Higly recommented to horror fans 5 stars
10/22/03 Aut Gore at its worst without any reprise 3 stars
3/10/03 Matt Thiel A good remake of a good film. 4 stars
1/13/03 Jack Sommersby Flat-out gross rather than grotesquely artistic 2 stars
10/14/02 Charles Tatum A remake better than its original? 5 stars
10/11/02 sheren that's is a great horror i had never seem before 5 stars
9/17/02 Adam I loved it, and all you whiners who are obsessed about the 50's version need to shut up. 5 stars
9/03/02 Latricia Bradford Loved it! 4 stars
7/27/02 I Can't Swim Goldblum's best hour; Cronenberg is at the top of his game too 5 stars
6/24/02 Baal A bit gory at times, but very entertaining. Over-the-top-ending though... 4 stars
3/30/02 dan maurath gory but interesting concept, a little lame at times 4 stars
1/16/02 David A. A big bore. If you want the Fly, watch the real one from back in the 50s 1 stars
11/03/01 Greg Truly Awesome. 5 stars
9/26/01 Shane Robert Myers!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Its gory & disgusting but you don't have to be afraid,very afraid its only a 7ft fly!!!!!! 4 stars
9/03/01 The-Dude great sci-fi modern monster film with a great ending 5 stars
8/09/01 E-Funk Cronenberg is twisted...this movie is twisted...I highly recommend it. 5 stars
6/28/01 Judith Latham It will blow you away. Shocking, Gory, Tension filled. LOVED IT!!!!! 5 stars
5/23/01 Bada Bing Crosby Be Afraid 5 stars
2/24/01 R.W. Welch Not as much fun as the original but more realistic. 4 stars
12/05/00 Terrie Smith Not a bad horror flick; special effects can be a turnoff. 4 stars
11/30/00 Latasha Renee Nelson Sabrina It sucked 1 stars
11/15/00 The EVIL Penguin Amazing but not that scary 4 stars
4/10/00 Matthew Bartley Fantastic. The birth scene is unbelievable 5 stars
3/17/00 David Rogers Both disgusting and boring. It wasted my time. 1 stars
11/10/99 JED! Somewhat not bad but it seems to be more of a MST3Kish movie. 2 stars
10/27/99 Glitter Berry I suppose it would've been better if I wasn't so traumatized by it 4 stars
1/09/99 Jo Mama one of the best sci-fi flicks in recent memory 5 stars
11/23/98 little jerry More spectacular than the original but not as unnerving. Lacks the stark contrast. 4 stars
11/14/98 Jules What a horror film should be 5 stars
11/13/98 Lord Of The Dunce Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelp meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. Great movie. 5 stars
10/06/98 Tommy Maguire Excellent shocker. Gross, gory and at times very frightening. Cronenberg at his best. 5 stars
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  15-Aug-1986 (R)
  DVD: 04-Oct-2005



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