Time to take a look at a really old horror film. This came out during the good ole 1950’s, which was a fun decade for the world. Especially for movies as the Godzilla franchise started out around this time. The Fly is a fairly nice concept and it actually doesn’t go for the “Everyone gets knocked off one by one” action aspect that you would expect and plays out more like a mystery thriller. It’s not exactly the next Sonic The Hedgehog film, but the effects hold up quite well.
A lady is accused of murdering her husband and the cops get involved. Francois, her step brother, wants to believe that she didn’t really do it, but she confirms the story and the crime scene is quite telling. The detectives wonder how this could have happened and Andre decides to tell them when one character mentions that he caught a fly. She explains the story of how her husband had been working on some next gen technology, but how it all went terribly wrong and he ended up turning himself into a Human/Fly hybrid instead.
Now, there were two things wrong with this for me. Not logic holes by any means though. First, Everyone is watching The Fly because we already know about the hybrid. This shouldn’t be a twist right? Yet, once the guy turns into a fly, the film is just about over. He quickly takes himself down and then the flashback ends and everyone walks away. I’m not really sure where the film was going with this and it may have worked better if it was called “The Mystery” or something like that.
The second part is that I actually preferred the mystery angle in the present anyway. The inspector clearly knew what he was doing and I dare say that he had the edge in his conversation with Andre. He was piecing things together, but he never could have suspected something so fantastic! I was rather enjoying the plot and then the long flashback began, which took up most of the film. That wasn’t quite as interesting to be honest and we all knew what was going to happen to the main character anyway.
The Fly was actually a little more violent than I could have suspected. When the main character was destroyed under the giant press, it was surprisingly graphic and this was back in the 1950’s! Also, the ending was a little sad for one character as he couldn’t move and could only watch as he was getting bitten until he was quickly put out of his misery by the others. It was definitely a dicey scene for the guy although I applaud the effects here as it looked fairly realistic considering how long ago this came out. The effects in general were actually quite good.
As you would expect from a 1950’s film, the writing is nice and solid. The characters are all fairly interesting and engaging in the present. You’ll feel bad for the guy watching over the equipment in the first scene since he gets quite the spook when the murder happens. Again, if the whole film had just been the mystery, then I could see this easily getting an extra 2-3 stars. As it is the flashbacks hurt the film as they slowed down the pacing and weren’t quite as interesting as the main plot.
The same thing happened to Captain America, The First Avenger a while back. I loved the present plot with Captain America overpowering SHIELD and seeing New York City, but I wasn’t crazy about the flashbacks. The main reason why flashbacks have never had a lot of potential for me is that you already know the ending. Seeing how the characters get there is all well and good, but only if you have a lot of epic action scenes to go with it. For a film like The Fly where you’re just watching someone’s day to day events until the end of the flashback…it takes away any form of intrigue or suspense that the film could have had. Watching The Fly return in the present and decide to rule the world, now that’s a twist that I could have gotten behind!
The Fly could have made for a decent villain, but we never got to see his final form. As a scientist, he was a decent character. A little generic perhaps, but a fun guy all the same. It’s just too bad that he didn’t have any more will power at his disposal or he could have really made a difference in the world! I also didn’t like the fact that he tested his invention out on the cat. That’s a really bad move if you ask me and it made me lose all of my respect for the guy. No matter how chipper he can be, we now know that he is willing to do anything for his experiments.
Overall, The Fly was a decent horror at times, but it just didn’t do anything for me. The final scene was pretty tragic and bordered on animal violence, but the effects were definitely really good and one of the highlights of the film. As this is an old film, the writing is pretty solid and I think that the show has potential. If you are looking for a classic horror movie, then this may be up your ally. If you are scared of giant flies or mysterious looking creatures, then you may want to back up now!