Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Review: The Fly (1986): A+

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Thick smoke blankets the floor of a dirty  laboratory as a 185 pound monster takes a gun and guides it towards its own head. The woman holding the gun is the monster’s lover. The monster isn’t a monster; but a victim. Howard Shore’s gothic but heartbreaking score pumps emotion into a heartbeat that is silenced by a gunshot. Sound like a Greek tragedy's climax to you? Well it is. With a little Science Fiction mixed in with it. The trouble starts when Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldbloom), a brilliant but eccentric scientist attempts to woo investigative journalist Veronica Quaife (Geena Davis) by offering her a scoop on his latest research in the field of matter transportation. Of course it wouldn’t be a horror movie unless some experiment went wrong. Brundle thinks he’s ironed out the last problem as he successfully transports a living creature,  but when he attempts to teleport himself a fly enters one of the transmission booths, and one of the greatest cult films of all time begins.

David Cronenberg’s dark love story is just about as good as film gets. First, the film’s ugly surface horrifies its viewers with its unrivaled makeup and special effects. Goldbloom’s transformation is just as terrifying as it was 24 years ago. Davis’s transformation is also a powerful asset to the film when we see her tormented by the complications of her new love’s mutation. She ends up learning the same lesson that we all have to face someday; if you love someone, blow their brains out. Of course it’s what’s underneath this entire project that makes it a true accomplishment. The film uses the nature of metamorphosis to create an allegory that addresses humanity’s moral ambiguity. Sound complicated? It’s really quite simple when watching the movie. Cronenberg doesn’t stop there and is even able throw in some social commentary on abortion and genetic engineering. Once you take a step back and look at the entire project it’s hard to label it anything besides an undisputable masterpiece.

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