Want a remake of The Fly? Look no further.
The internet is abuzz today with news of a remake of The Fly. It’s pleasing to see both film versions getting a nod, not just the 1982 Cronenberg but the original from 1958 as well. People seem generally excited by the prospect of another body-horror flick, given what modern effects can pull off. If that’s all the new movie has to offer, though, it’s almost certain to fail.
I’ve written extensively about the appeal of this story, which dates back to an even more chilling novella by George Langelaan. The terror of “The Fly” lies not just in the transformation of an unlucky inventor into a monster, but in the metaphor of modern technology making monsters of us all.
The movies (plus sequels and even an opera) more or less engage with this theme, sometimes buried under their own particular angles: Cronenberg’s, for instance, vividly explores decay caused by age or disease.
However, I would argue that no one has yet to bring this theme fully into the mainstream, and I include myself in a long list of failures. Through Twinmaker and its many side stories, such as one called “The Other Fly”, I’ve reached for a formula that would grab the masses by the lapels and force them to engage. Without a huge amount of success, alas, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth attempting again.
Maybe the new The Fly will do the trick. I hope so, and I wish Fox and J. D. Dillard the best of luck. (If they need a teleporter adviser, I’m their guy!) However the movie turns out, I’m very much looking forward to seeing it.
(Thanks to David Nelso for this delightful image.)