Film Review: The Fly II (1989)

Into the Dark: Film Review - The Fly II (1989)

I can’t believe how much I like this movie. As unnecessary sequels go, The Fly II is far, far better than it has any right to be. I think the fact that Shawshank Redemption director and Walking Dead instigator Frank Darabont cowrote the screenplay has something to do with it. The film is more of a straight-forward monster movie than Cronenberg’s 1986 version, especially after the mid-point, where director Chris Walas (makeup effects artist for Scanners, Gremlins, and Enemy Mine) allows the film to morph into a an all-out, balls-to-the-wall, kick-ass creature feature.

But The Fly II doesn’t completely shy away from the material’s psychological underpinnings. In fact, there are a couple of scenes in this movie that will haunt me for the rest of my days. It’s bad enough when a botched experiment leaves a dog mangled and deformed, but how about when Eric Stoltz later discovers his old pet is still alive, living in a dungeon, barely able to lick food out of its bowl. It’s heartbreaking to watch the dog, which looks like living road kill, start to wag its tail and whimper upon sight of its old human friend. And even more heartbreaking when Stoltz ends its pain. Seriously. You want horror? Forget The Exorcist. Screw The Blair Witch. Try and make it through the dog scene in The Fly II. I dare you.

Stoltz gives a solid performance as a boy raised in a science lab who must come to grips with his grim, Kafka-esque fate. Daphne Zuniga is along for the ride as his girlfriend. Lee Richardson is good as the dark, deceitful father figure and Christopher Young delivers another of his sublime melancholy scores.

Rating: 4/5 ★★★★☆ 

Into the Dark: Film Review - The Fly II (1989)

Eric Stoltz follows in Jeff Goldblum's footsteps in this surprisingly good sequel to a surprisingly good remake.


About Scott_S

Scott studied film and sociology at Indiana University and is currently the video producer for a large publishing company. He is the director of several independent films, including "House of Hope," "Off the Beaten Path," "The Day Joe Left," and "Found." For more about Scott, visit Scott is also one of the principal organizers of the Dark Carnival Film Festival. (

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