Lord of the Flies (1990)

The next film in the October EYG Halloween Horror Bingefest is an adaptation of William Golding’s iconic novel, Lord of the Flies.

This is the most recent adaptation of the novel that tells the story of a group of kids stranded on a deserted island and how they descended into chaos and savagery without the rules of the adult world.

I remembered liking this movie a lot when it originally came out despite middling reviews. This time through, it was still a good watch, but I will admit to not feeling the same power as I did the first time.

I have not read William Golding’s novel, so I cannot comment on the adaptation. I am planning on watching the 1963 film version soon to make a comparison. I have heard that the 1990 adaptation is not on the level of the 1963 one and that it changes a lot of what make the book special. This is not uncommon among movie adaptations, but you would hope that any changes were made because of proper reasons and not just to make changes.

The most powerful moment in this movie for me back when I first saw it was the death of Piggy (Danuel Pipoly). I had a hard time accepting the manner in which it happened and how these kids could just go along with it. This time through I was expecting it and it did not make as large of an impact on me.

The rivalry between Ralph (Balthazar Getty) and Jack (Chris Furrh) is at the center of the film, but it feels pushed here. I would have liked to see more between the boys. There was an early movie scene of them play fighting on the beach which was nice, but there was not enough of that to really drive home the power of Jack’s eventual betrayal.

I am not sure that the movie ever sufficiently dealt with the storyline of the “monster.” It was obvious who the monster was but I did not see it handled. Maybe I missed it.

The ending of the movie came very quickly too. It lacked a flow that made it feel as if it just came out of nowhere.

Having said all of these negatives, these young boys did a good job with their roles. Unlike the Children of the Corn, these boys brought emotion and skill to their parts, even those that were small and not deeply developed.

The shots on the island were done well and the music added to the tone of each shot. The look of the movie was top notch and helped balance out some of the other parts that may not have been as solid.

This did take a step back from where I saw it back in the early 1990s, but it was still a good effort and the positives do stand out.

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