Thursday, 22 September 2011

The Fly (1958) Review

The Fly (1958) Review

Neumann’s ‘The Fly’ was nail biting and gripping from the opening sequence right to the dramatic end. The film illustrates humans deep seated fear of the unknown and the unfamiliar, in this case science, technological advances and insects.
The film takes place in a rich suburb largely in the quaint home of  Andre Delambre, a scientist and his wife Helene. Upon seeing the dungeon like basement inside this peaceful environment it becomes apparent all is not as it seems. "A scientist meddling with a strange theory of molecular exchange; he discovers, once again, that there are things-that-man-was-not-meant-to-know." (Kerr,2007). Andre is perceived early on to be a brilliant scientist consistently pushing the boundaries of modern science and crossing over into unfamiliar territory, which Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein would tell us often ends in tragedy. 
 A J Hakari argues "Mad science is one of the modern horrors building blocks." (Hakari,2011). This has been true since the very beginning of modern film making from J. Charles Haydon’s  ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’ (1920) right up to the present with films such as  ’28 days later’ (2002) and ‘I Am Legend’ (2007) The Fly was arguably the film that shaped modern day horror as we know it and should be praised as such.

The defining feature of the film for many was perhaps the bond shared between Andre and his doting wife Helene when even through the most hideous circumstances her love for him transcends the sheer terror she feels upon finding her husband grotesquely disfigured beyond recognition. Howard Thompson of the New York times states “Most appeailing of all is the compassion blended in with the suspense when something terrible happens." (Thompson,1958).

 It is symbolic the manner in which Mr Delambre was killed whereby the fly section of his body was squashed, the common way in which most house fly’s are killed by humans. Arguably Neumann chose this way to kill Andre Delambre to show that the creature inside him eventually overpowered the scientist. In the animal kingdom there is a hierarchy with the fly often considered being on the lower end of the scale while humans are at the top of the pecking order. The idea that a creature so insignificant can conquer over us is frightening and thought provoking  which makes this film horrifying and yet absolutely fantastic!

  List Of Illustrations
Image 1;
Image 2 &3;

1. Dave Kehr of the Chicago Reader (2007)

1 comment:

  1. Hey Ollie - first review 'out there' - good stuff, but some room for improvement; you need to look again at how to present citations - the info after a quote - in accordance with the Harvard Method; it should be the surname of the author followed by the publishing date (Kehr ?). Harvard permits variations, but you'll need to know what they are and when to use them. Look again at the 'Rough Guide' available on myUCA/Anatomy/Unit Materials for the complete Harvard citation guide and advice on using evidence (i.e. quotes). Also - you're not entitling your illustrations correctly or including an illustration list. For a great example of how to present and structure a review, check out Meg's review of the same film: