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The Horror Movie That Left Fans Sad Rather Than Scared

Horror films have one main purpose, by and large, and that's to scare the audience. Whether it's a cartoonish horror-comedy like Evil Dead 2, the gory survival thrills of Hills Have Eyes, or the occult trauma of Hereditary, horror isn't just there so teenagers can huddle together in the theater. It's to unsettle audiences and grant catharsis, to give them what the ancients would call "pity and awe."

But horror can often involve a lot of heartbreak and tragedy alongside other big emotions. That comes with the territory for a genre primarily about monsters and other creatures who are permanently Othered and can't be accepted or even loved. Bride of Frankenstein isn't that scary by contemporary standards — it's a moment like the Monster's resigned, climactic delivery of "WE BELONG DEAD" that really lingers.

So when a Reddit thread on r/horror asked other fans, "What horror movie left you feeling heartbroken or just super sad!," there were plenty of answers to be had. One poster, in particular, chose to spotlight one of the saddest horror movies of all time.

Here's why The Fly left horror movie fans devastated

Several strong answers were given in response to the post, including cult horror movies like Frailty and The Orphanage, but poster vampirebloodgod1991 noted the particular tragedy of '80s body horror classic The Fly. They recalled, "The scene where Seth was begging Veronica to shoot him because he didn't wanted [sic] to live as a human Insect hybrid anymore." Hard to imagine a horror movie with a sadder ending. 

The Fly is a tragic love story, in addition to being the kind of movie where hybrid man-fly Jeff Goldblum vomits acid, and the climax of the movie is both appalling and heartbreaking. Seth Brundle (Goldblum), delusional and nearly transformed, tries to force his pregnant lover Ronnie (Geena Davis) into the teleportation machine so that all three organisms — baby, Brundle, and Ronnie — will fuse together. Ronnie and her ex Stathis are just able to stop Brundle from beginning the process, but the Brundlefly gets caught in the pod. The final result: a creature now painfully fused with the metal cables and door of the telepod.

What's left of Seth crawls out of the doors and silently asks his lover, Ronnie, to kill him, claw pointing to the shotgun. Ronnie at first can't find the strength, but, at last, she shoots him in the head. Falling to her knees, Ronnie sobs over the creature's body as Stathis looks on.

Few movies balance horror, tragedy, and romance as effectively as David Cronenberg's The Fly, currently streaming on Hulu.