Horror Movie Review: The Fly 1958

The Fly is one of those rare horror movies where the remake is arguably better than the original. While I have not yet seen the remake, for this blog, I will be talking about the original 1958 version with Vincent Price. So I will not be comparing and contrasting the two films. Instead, I'm just going to look at the Fly as its own movie. 

The Fly is about a scientist who creates a teleporter machine, and accidentally fuses himself with a fly, resulting in him transforming into a man-fly hybrid. His wife and child must find the other half of him which is attached to a normal fly otherwise he'll remain bug-man forever. 

So let's talk about what's good with the movie. When it comes to classics like this, many people are quick to point out how stale they feel. Yes, when this movie came out, it might have been pretty shocking, but now days, people are less sensitive when it comes to horror. Simply slapping a mask on a man doesn't register as scary. This is why the remake is held with such high praise, it takes the idea of the original and makes it better with special effects. That being said, there were moments where I was creeped out. Now scared, but creeped out. When the doctor had to communicate to his wife by knocking because his face was being covered up, it strangely made me feel anxious. This is due to the golden rule of horror, less is more. At that point in the film, he had no idea what the Fly actually looked like, so our imagination filled in the rest. Also, the idea of teleportation is a creepy idea, especially the science that goes into it. The film makers made sure that the sound effects of the machine came off as disturbing. It didn't sound pleasant or silent, it sounded loud and frightening. And lastly, and this might sound ridiculous, but I found the final scene pretty chilling too. Now, I can understand why someone would find that scene hilarious too, but I kind of see the tragedy in it also, which comes off as creepy to me. 

Now let's talk about what I didn't like about the film. The acting was all over the place. The lead actress was good in some moments (it felt like when she needed to be scared, she was effective) but in other moments it felt kind of wooden. Vincent Price is good as usual, but man oh man, that kid actor couldn't act. Big shock, but it needed to be said. Also a nit pick I have for the film is all the french stuff. The characters have french names, they refer to each other in french lingo, yet they have english accents and write in english. I have no idea where this film takes place. Doesn't ruin the film, but it bugs you. 

Then there's the subjective stuff. When it comes to movies, especially horror film, I have a great patience. I understand that others don't, so they might find this movie boring. It relies more on suspense then actual shocking moments. However, the first part of the movie is Vincent Price and an investigator trying to figure out how the scientist died. It's only when they ask the wife what happened that we get into the main story. I guess the point of this framing is so that we, the audience, have the option to think that the wife is making the story up due to her disillusions, that was established in the first act. But it didn't come off that way. It felt like she was telling the truth and there was no doubt in the audience's mind that this happened. But again, that might be a subjective thing, maybe someone else was able to read into the ambiguity of this framing. 

So final thoughts, I do like the Fly, but I understand if people find it boring. It's definitely an acquired taste of a film. I don't expect people who like the remake to like the original. From what I've heard and seen, they are two completely different films when it comes to tone and narritive. But I think that's a good thing, it gives both films their own identity. Watch it if your curious, it's not a bad film, it's just that you might get bored watching it.