31 Days of Terror: The Fly (1986)
"Be afraid. Be very afraid."
Body horror is a sub-genre of Horror I've always been disturbed yet fascinated by. That dread of watching your body become something God didn't intend and the frightened faces of your loved ones as they look at you become something inhuman has always been haunting imagery to me starting with Akira and art-house films like Tetsuo the Iron Man. Then there's David Cronenberg and his brilliant remake of The Fly.
A brilliant young scientist named Seth Brundle has made the discovery of the century: Teleportation. Seth has created large pods in which he's been able to teleport objects from one "telepod" to the other; however, he's never been able to teleport anything living. After a drunken stupor and jealousy at his girlfriend for going to see her ex, Seth decides to teleport himself. What he didn't know was that a small house fly had gotten into the pod with him. What happens in the months following Seth's descent into terror and delusion as his body is transforming into something...not human.
The 80s were a good time for remakes with Cronenberg bringing us The Fly and John Carpenter with The Thing. I love them both to death but The Fly hits me harder due to its tragic love story and it being the only horror movie to make me cry. Brundle's slow downward spiral into becoming the Fly is heartbreaking and even more so as we watch his girlfriend, Veronica, witness this transformation and Geena Davis's performance is just soul-crushing. When Veronica finds Brundle well into his transformation, she's so distraught and in tears I believed every second of it. She's pushed even further when Seth tries to make light of the situation, in a dark comedic manner, and you're half expecting her to throw up. Jeff Goldblum as Seth Brundle plays the Goldblum we all know and love but after his trip through the telepod, his demeanor completely changes. He's more forceful, angry, and delusional. Further into the film, he's not even sure whether what's happening to him is a gift or a curse as madness slowly consumes him.
If anyone knows David Cronenberg, you know to expect nothing but the best in effects. After Brundle's trip through the telepod, there are subtle changes to his skin but as time progresses in the film, he starts getting more and more blisters over his face and body. After four weeks pass in the film, he's deteriorated to the point where's using forearm crutches and vomiting on his food like a fly. His final form is the most horrific and the transformation is still astounding to watch, unspoiled.
The Fly is still one of the horror films, not just because of its effects but because of the ironic tragedy that something so small could destroy you and everything you hold dear.