Note: The following contains spoilers.
On October 5th, 2014 I watched David Cronenberg’s The Fly, so it only made sense that a year later I would watch the original Vincent Price version and compare the two of them. This turned out to be quite easy as they are very different films. The original is more of a quasi-mystery than a body horror film, although there are still those elements that would become so pronounced in Cronenberg’s remake. But in the 1958 original, the emphasis is less on the body horror and more on how Andre’s fly-ness affects his wife and brother.
But despite there being less of an emphasis on scares, I have to admit that over fifty years later, the scene with the spider web really got to me. The effects and makeup are dated as hell, and the acting isn’t particularly great in the scene, but there’s something visceral about it all that shocked me by how much I was genuinely uneased by it. Did Cronenberg’s version do most things better? I’d say so. But that’s less a fault on the ’58 The Fly being a bad movie and more a fault on it not being one of the best films of all time.