Way back In 2011, I mentioned how I thought The Fly should be remade by someone other than Cronenberg. It’s a thought I still stand by because of how the movie is tied very much to Cronenberg‘s style and I’d like to see something that is more about the Fly than Cronenberg.
That’s not to say I don’t like the film. Indeed, considering t he central premise of the Fly movies is body horror, Cronenberg is really a logical choice and what he gave us was a terrifying update of the story. His invented some iconic images, the telepods themselves in particular.
Remakes were different in the 80s, when video was still in it’s infancy and the internet didn’t exist in it’s current form. Old movies weren’t as readily accessible, and sometimes a remake was the only way for a new generation to experience a story – yet in a lot of cases they really went thier own directions with the remakes. It’s a mix of those things here; this isn’t the tense mystery that the original was. We’re not searching for a fly with a white head to try and reverse this acciedent. We’re focused more on the transformation. It’s not about body part swapping, but corrupt genes and the horror of losing control of your own form.
The relationship between Jeff Goldbum and Geena Davis is a flirtation and romance rather than an established marriage like in the original – it provides it’s own tension as we add the factor of a budding relationship to the trauma of mutating into something else. It comes off as more real because of the fact that Goldblum and Davis were in a relationship at the time in real life as well.
Despite the creature effect being far more horrifying that anything we’d seen in previous Fly films, the heart of the story is here (by the way, this is something I’ve only come to realize lately…so I was wrong back in this post when I said he missed the heart of the film. Consider this my retraction of that one statement). It’s not about a crazed monster killing people. It’s a far more personal story and the ending here is just as heartbreaking as it was in the original.
I think this stands alone – you don’t need any knowledge coming it, it dosen’t stand on the source material, but is certianly enhanced by it. I was fortunate enough to catch this at the Capitol on the big screen, and it’s always going to be a recommend.
Okay now- four movies down…one to go.