The Fly: 8 Reasons Why Cronenberg's Body Horror Is The Best Remake Of All Time

7. The Fly Is A Work Of Powerful Metaphor

The Fly Remake
20th Century Fox

As horrifying as Seth's metamorphosis is, The Fly is no mere monster movie. The Cronenbergian classic has more hidden depth than the lost catacombs of Egypt.

The movie was intended as a metaphor for the aging process, with Seth's gradual transformation highlighting the fact that time makes hideous monsters of us all. Conversely, Veronica represents anyone who's ever suffered the heartbreak of watching an elderly relative become a shadow of their former self, reaching the point of severe physical decline or losing their faculties.

Although Cronenberg sought to symbolise old age, The Fly works equally well as a metaphor for terminal illness. It's about a man who's stricken by a "disease with a purpose" which accelerates to the point where he must beg his lover for euthanasia.

Those whose lives have been touched by such illnesses are more likely to view Seth's tragic plight from this angle.

As is the case with any great work, however, there are even more ways to intepret The Fly. Another possible metaphor is drug addiction. Seth emerges from his fateful teleportation seemingly normal and it isn't long before the audience is duped into thinking that crossing your genes with a fly might have a bizarre up side.

Before his body parts begin dropping off, Seth exhibits superhuman strength and agility, which soon gives rise to the kind of mania and superiority complex that many drug users experience. Brundle even describes teleportation as a "benign drug". The remainder of the film is the downfall of the addicted, the inevitable consequences that follow the high and the way they impact on the abuser's loved ones.

Proving Cronenberg has always been a master of symbolism, there are visual metaphors scattered throughout The Fly. For instance, it's no coincidence that the telepods from which Brundlefly is born are shaped like wombs.


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