The Fly

Critics Consensus

David Cronenberg combines his trademark affinity for gore and horror with strongly developed characters, making The Fly a surprisingly affecting tragedy.



Total Count: 60


Audience Score

User Ratings: 89,788
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Movie Info

Considered fairly gruesome in its day, the original 1958 The Fly looks like Mister Rogers' Neighborhood compared to this 1986 remake. Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis star as Seth Brundle, a self-involved research scientist, and Veronica Quaife, a science-magazine reporter. Inviting Veronica to his lab, Seth prepares to demonstrate his "telepod," which can theoretically transfer matter through space. As they grow closer over the next few weeks, she inadvertently goads Seth into experimenting with human beings rather than inanimate objects. Seth himself enters the telepod, preparing to transmit himself through the ether -- but he doesn't know that he is sharing the telepod with a tiny housefly. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Jeff Goldblum
as Seth Brundle
Geena Davis
as Veronica Quaife
John Getz
as Stathis Borans
Les Carlson
as Dr. Cheevers
Michael Copeman
as Man in Bar
David Cronenberg
as Gynecologist
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News & Interviews for The Fly

Critic Reviews for The Fly

All Critics (60) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (55) | Rotten (5)

  • What makes The Fly such a stunning piece of obsessive film making is the way Cronenberg deftly allows us to identify with his monstrous creation.

    Aug 4, 2013 | Full Review…
  • Wildly imaginative, gut-wrenchingly scarifying and profoundly primal (not to mention funny), David Cronenberg's The Fly is a movie that whacks you in the solar plexus and leaves you gasping.

    Aug 4, 2013 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • What's good about the film are the strong performances and the ingenious, mostly amusing script. What's ugly, of course, is the grossness. And what's bad is the movie's inability to reconcile its good and ugly aspects.

    Aug 4, 2013 | Full Review…
  • As slimy and as grotesque as some of its special effects become, The Fly is a far superior horror film to the top-grossing film in America of late, Aliens.

    Aug 4, 2013 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • The Fly seizes on our ingrained, instinctive horror of sexuality, the sense of shame that our fundamentally puritanical society can't help but teach us, and by confirming our worst fears, helps us, for a moment, to move beyond them.

    Aug 4, 2013 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • A gross-your-eyes-out horror movie that is also the year's most poignant romance.

    Oct 18, 2011 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Fly

  • Oct 08, 2015
    The Fly may be horror but it is of the Evil Dead / Nightmare On Elm Street variety where the jokes / silliness lighten things up. This was a movie I had heard about but had never seen until just recently. The Fly is not a bad film but more a product of its time rather than a timeless classic. Recommended for fans of 80s grotesque / animatronic horror and, of course, Cronenberg fans.
    Robert B Super Reviewer
  • Dec 04, 2013
    Goldblum and the over-the-top special effects really craft this movie into the classic that it is today, but Cronenberg's ability to find pathos in the most unlikely of places is among the film's more compelling aspects.
    Kase V Super Reviewer
  • Oct 31, 2013
    Directors C Super Reviewer
  • Jul 05, 2013
    A mainstream horror movie blended with a heavy dose of science fiction B-movie and melodrama, The Fly is not only wildly fun and entertaining but also very well-made. It begins by diving straight into the story by introducing us to Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum), a scientist with an invention that he claims will change the world. He invites journalist Veronica Quaife (Geena Davis) to his lab to show her the invention, which is a pair of pods that can teleport matter between them. Veronica plans to write a book documenting Seth's progress in perfecting the pods, and they get romantically involved (of course). However, all that goes awry when Seth decides to teleport himself from one pod to another whilst home alone, and a fly joins Seth in the telepod without his knowledge. Seth's invention successfulyl teleports him, but it also merges Seth's DNA with the fly's, causing him to gradually transform into an insect-like abomination. From that point on things begin to get gross, but Jeff Goldblum naturally brings a very human quality to his character and grounds the schlocky plot with a surprising amount of emotion. Despite the gorey moments, it's hard not to be rooting for the characters because the actors and script make them very believable and sympathetic. Even the seemingly two-dimensional character of Veronica's obsessive boss ends up redeeming himself to a certain degree, so the movie is almost like a low-budget sci-fi tragedy. Of course there's also a fair amount of low-budget horror special effects and gore, including Seth Brundle's unique way of eating food as he transforms into the fly-human hybrid (which the movie refers to as Brundlefly). All in all The Fly is a very enjoyable science fiction movie that has a welcome low-budget feel to it yet still has a great script and more than sufficient character development. The gross special-effects might be a turn-off for some people, but The Fly really has a lot going for it that makes it very fun and absolutely worth seeing.
    Joey S Super Reviewer

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