A scientific experiment goes wrong, and a man turns into a fly. This served as the recipe for an O.K. ’50s mutant movie. David Cronenberg’s remake went way beyond, and I don’t mean in its deliciously grotesque special effects. The film turned the malignancy of its misguided hero (Jeff Goldblum) into a metaphor for all degenerative diseases — cancer, AIDS, Alzheimer’s — and the effect it has on the victim. He fights it; he tries to outthink it; he monitors his deterioration, with irony, then anger. Because The Fly is about a man facing his own decay and hoping against hope to negotiate with the inevitable, it is the most human of all horror films.
Next The Exorcist