“Tawny: [after Seth says it's Tawny's turn to teleport] I'm afraid. Seth Brundle: Don't be afraid. Ronnie: No. Be afraid. Be very afraid.”
David Cronenburg’s adaptation of The Fly certainly shows a darker and more gruesome side to science fiction horror. The film has a major impact though its special visual effects at depicting body mutation horror which makes this film truly stomach churning. It was uncomfortable to watch the gradual yet painful stages of scientist Seth Brundle’s mutation. The first signs of the mutation were the worst for me, his teeth falling out and nails peeling off got me flinching the most, because of the mental image of the pain of that actually happening. As the mutation progressed we saw Brundle at various stages in mutation process giving the impression of a time scale that it’s happening gradually. Each time he is revealed we see his human characteristics fading away before our eyes and special effects becoming more and more predominant as he becomes more like the fly.
What makes the special effects particularly gruesome is Cronenburg’s obsession with bodily fluids “also known as the King of Venereal Horror or the Baron of blood,” these names don’t fall short in this film.
“You feel as helpless as the characters themselves and you painfully wait for the unhappy ending to come!” The ending of the film becomes inevitable as soon as the changes begin to happen to Seph. The build up to the ending has a more background emphasis on character development and the relationship between Seph and Ronnie which makes the storyline more emotionally gripping unlike the conventional 1950’s family from the original.
All in all “It's not just scary, it's a tragedy too.”