The original film is a great sci-fi thriller, it wasn’t big or spectacular, but it told its story, mixed in a love story and a moral and had a great ending (HELP ME), but when David Cronenberg came along almost 30 years later he turned heads for both the ones who enjoyed the classic and those who were brand new to the film(like myself).
This film really showed how to do a remake, many times the saying is “If its not broke, don’t fix it” but when is it time to update a story? Well David thought 1980’s was enough time since the last film to do so, showing off how far technology has gone(with Chris Walas’ awesome Special Make Up FX), while keeping the core story & its morals in tact. He made minor changes to create new drama, by having the two main actors not married and in some cases flawed(whereas the original had a happily married couple, who never seemed to fight). The Sci-Fi aspect of the film is not the forefront either, it kind of plays like a looming metaphor for a tragic love story, we know that it won’t end well, but David manages to make us care for them anyway.
Geena Davis & Jeff Goldblum had a relationship going on at the time and I think it added to the drama and care that we see these characters go through. We do get a bit of Soap Opera going on when we are introduced to a past lover of Davis'(played great by John Getz, who would reprise his role in the sequel), which I believe also served to bring a better story to the film, as we begin not liking the guy, but find ourselves by the end wanting him to win out simply to save Geena’s character by the creature Jeff becomes.
Chris Walas stands out in this film and doesn’t even make an appearance in the film(he will move on to direct the sequel)his make up FX are amazing and I love how Cronenberg gives him the opportunity to really shine by having the character slowly develop in the creature. Unlike the first film which was a moral film showing the dangers of playing God, this film is more like an ad on what happens with sex with a stranger, after all, while the love story does develop the two have intimacy before any real feelings begin. Its there, but its not slapping you in the face.
The acting is also great, the score playing(by Howard Shore)is incredible, I saw the trailer as a kid and was like OMG this looks great, of course, I was too young to go by myself an my parents aren’t into that type of film, so I missed out, but Howard Shore’s music always stayed in my head and that trailer is in my opinion one of the best.
The sequel I don’t know if I’ll review, but I will say it is highly underrated and deserves some praise as it continued to change up the story told in the original film, the original sequel it is based on and moved the characters forward.