The Fly

Written by Michael Clawson


“Be afraid, be very afraid.” A line my dad quoted all the time when I was growing up, so it was fun to finally it hear in context. 

Absolutely wild practical makeup and effects, far and away the most disgusting image being of Veronica giving birth to a slimy, writhing insect pod, which literally made my jaw drop.

I love the sad comedy in lines like, “The medicine cabinet is now the Brundle Museum of Natural History”, or “It mated us, me and the fly. We hadn’t even been properly introduced.” Goldblum starts to shine once the transformation has commenced, and it’s those self-deprecating quips that he really nails.

Seth’s personality flip, from being harmlessly smug to manically egotistical and insanely athletic, was a brilliant surprise. Instead of Seth, say, slowly noticing his symptoms and panicking, thereby becoming of the sympathetic victim of a scientific mishap, he’s more like a raging addict, desperately trying to lure Veronica into his ecstasy, then cruelly shunning her when she refuses. It’s a potent metaphor, Seth’s arrogance and bodily demise as like that of a substance user, and it gives pathos to one of his final lines: “Help me. Help me be human.”

Michael Clawson originally posted this review on Letterboxd 05/23/20

Available for rent from most services.

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