The Fly (1958) vs. The Fly (1986)
The premise in both of these movies is the same. A scientist who has invented a teleportation device accidentally merges himself with a fly. He soon starts to turn into a fly himself.
Both films deal with this and they both deal with the hardships these characters relationships go through due to the horrible accident.
What worked so well with the original was its ability to bring science fiction into a more believable area. It makes sure that the script is strong, especially when it starts to become ridiculous. It really plays between black comedy and drama, which works for the most part.
For films that came out of the ‘50s horror this is probably one of the top ones. Even with the hilarious scene where they see a tiny entrapped fly with one of the main characters head and arm, screaming "Help me! Help me!" in a tiny voice, as a spider approaches. Yeah, it gets weird and campy like that.
David Cronenberg's remake of the 1958 classic becomes a moving portrait of a man and his lover attempting to come to terms with his physical disintegration. "The Fly" stars Jeff Goldblum as a spaced-out scientist who invents a genetic teleportation machine and accidentally transforms himself into a fly. In the horrifyingly graphic detail that is his trademark, Cronenberg depicts the scientist's painful mutation from human into insect. What gives the film its tragic dimension is the emotional depth of the relationship between the scientist and his journalist girlfriend (Geena Davis) as she witnesses his slow, painful metamorphosis.
The Fly gives us some great and creepy special effects but also strong characters that we grow to like and care about. So, when things start to go south we actually feel for what these characters are going through and that’s something all movie should have. Sadly they don’t.
So, the first half of the movie with Goldblum and Davis is heartwarming and then things happen and the second half is heartbreaking, which is done beautifully within the realm of gothic horror.
So, which is better?
I’m going to have to go with the remake. With Cronenberg’s version I felt more connected with the characters, which is what became key in making this a great movie.