(Review originally written at 1 July 2006)

"The Fly" is hard to classify. There never has been a movie like this before and there will never be one again, since the way of movie-making and story telling is so brilliantly unique of this movie. It's not really an horror movie, for it's not consistently scary and gory enough for that. The movie can be divided into several parts and to every part of the movie a different genre label can be put. Cronenberg simply chooses to ignore that there are different movie genres and he tries to create his very own movie with his very own unique view and take on the story. He ignores all of the 'Hollywood' movie rules with as a result this brilliant and unique movie.

The storytelling is for most part slow and mysterious. It helps to give the movie a certain atmosphere of fear and paranoia. The movie has very few settings and actors in it. It doesn't waste anytime on wide-shots, needless side-plots and characters. Instead it choices a straight forward approach. It works powerful and compelling. We as viewers get immediately drawn into the story and the 'action', so to speak, immediately starts of. It are all reasons why this movie is only 95 minutes short but its long enough to cover everything that has to be told.

The unique way of storytelling is probably also the reason why this movie feels so realistic to watch. You just never know what is going to happen next and the characters are mostly unpredictable. The story and characters take several turns as the movie progresses.

The wonderful dialog is another thing that adds to the realism of the movie. Of course the dialog is also perfectly delivered by the fine cast. Jeff Goldblum plays his character in a way only Goldblum can. With this movie he deliverers one of his most memorable performances. Geena Davis in this movie also shows that she is a very talented actress. It's too bad her career never really got of the ground, in terms of playing respectable and tough roles. She is a well known Hollywood-star but she never really appeared in any widely acclaimed and respected movie, with the exception of this movie, "Beetle Juice" and "Thelma & Louise", for which she was nominated for an Oscar. Three years before that she even won an Oscar for her role in "The Accidental Tourist". But having a successful 5 years just isn't enough for an actress of her caliber. A real shame because when you watch this movie it becomes obvious that the talent is definitely there. John Getz also plays a great role. He plays an unpredictable character that at moments you hate and at others you like him again. Just like in real life, none of the characters are fully bad or fully good. Everyone has a darker less pleasant side and director Cronenberg is not afraid to show this.

The special effects are simple and quite poor but considering that this movie was released in 1986, it's acceptable. The Oscar winning make-up effects on the other hand are fantastic. There are very gory. Even more gory than the most hardened horror movie. The make-up effects are one of the main reasons why the horror elements of the movie work out so very well, especially toward the ending. It's probably also the reason why this movie is regarded by many as an of the best horror movies of all time, even though the entire movie itself isn't really an horror movie at all in my opinion.

It's a very well constructed movie that can't really be defined. A typical Cronebergian gem, with more layers, meanings and elements in it then you would see at first sight. Almost everything about it is unique. It makes "The Fly" a one of a kind movie that is an absolute must-see, at least if you have a strong enough stomach, for this movie definitely isn't for the faint of heart.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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