Brainscan (1994)

   

Directed by: John Flynn

Written by: Andrew Kevin Walker

Story by: Brian Owens

Starring:

Edward Furlong .... Michael Bower
Frank Langella .... Detective Hayden
T. Ryder Smith .... Trickster
Amy Hargreaves .... Kimberly
James Marsh .... Kyle
Victor Ertmanis .... Martin
David Hemblen .... Dr. Fromberg
Vlasta Vranda .... Frank

Release Date: Quick Theatrical: April 22, 1994

Rating:

 

A lonely teenage kid named Michael Bower (Edward Furlong) who is fascinated with horror movies discovers an ad for a mysterious computer game that uses hypnosis to custom-tailor the game into the most terrifying experience imaginable.
Well he falls asleep while trying the game and enters a house near his neighborhood by stabbing a man asleep to death and cutting off his leg.
After he plays the game he finds it alot of fun but then spots the murder on the news and then encounters meets the evil Trickster (T. Ryder Smith) and is horrified to find evidence that the brutal murder depicted in the game actually happened -- and he's the killer.
He can't seem to put a stop to the madness plus is being questioned by the head Detective named Hayden (Frank Langella) about the cases after Michael experiences that his only friend named Kyle (James Marsh) was killed as well.
Next plan is that he will be put in a trance to murder the girl of his dreams named Kimberly (Amy Hargreaves) but can he stop himself in time?

 

An impressive beginning of the film with a close up shot on the lead character Michael Bower with his eyes closed showing that he is having a nightmare which looked good as well as his younger self with a good shot on him limping on the ground from a bad accident. Both of this combination looked perfect. It for sure leaves a nice impression that something here is not right and should please horror fans such as myself.
There's a nice shot on a school principal storming in slowly with expressionless catching his student watching a horror movie while supposed to be doing schoolwork. We also have a good and stern discussion between the two of them in the office.
I found a moment quite impressive with Michael spying on his crush Kimberly while living next door undressing as he videotapes her in which this drew me in wondering if she will catch him doing this along with his geeky friend Kyle contacting him on his computer as this all looked entertainingly exciting to watch.
Impressive moment when Michael starts up his new game on his computer and we hear the voice of Trickster talking to him which shows some great horror type of pizzaz by what he is talking about and then a bizarre moment on him playing the game with a nice shot on the camera luring in around a house and having Trickser's voice commanding every move which looked perfect and dark. There's a great shot on someone tossing and turning in his bed fast asleep. A perfect shot on him being stabbed and his reaction to it and a good shot on a house cat watching. This for sure looked perfectly outrageous and terrific horror timing. A great shot on the cut off foot in a refrigerator.
Nicely drawn in moments when Michael spots what had happened on the news based on the video game which was a great moment for the horror story as well as him trying to check out the place and Detective Hayden telling him to move on which was mysteriously done in a good fashion.
We see many great and intense discussions between Michael and Trickser up in an attic with Michael freaking out with his actions and Trickster acted evilly witty and demonic like towards him. Plus a nice shot on Trickster doing something with his fingers as this reminded me on what Freddy Krueger does in the A Nightmare On Elm Street legacy in which I'm convinced this moment paid a tribute to that. Also there's nice special effects for the beginning of this scene when Trickster pushes himself out of the computer screen to confront Michael as I'm convinced the writer saw Trick or Treat and borrowed this idea big time.
Well done situations when Michael goes to a forest to try and bury the cut off foot as well as hiding from people that enter there along with their dog taking the foot and running away with it and him trying to get it back as I really found this moment genuinely funny to watch.
There are nice shots on both Michael and Kimberly making out in bed together and then a good shot on her suddenly turning into the character Frank acting vicious and attacking like.
Good shots on Michael running in the woods with people after him in which there's excellent misty shots in the forestry as well as police trying to look for him. Alot of this looked action packed fun as I enjoyed watching these moments unravel.
One of the best moments is when Michael is pressured to kill Kimberly while she is sleeping in her bed as you wonder if he will do it or not which was nicely drawn in. Plus great effects when he struggles against Trickster as well as what happens here which looked bizarre and seemed to have another Freddy Krueger type of tribute to this matter.
A good shot on the school principal with Trickster sitting in the principal's chair acting cool while Michael is talking and giving the principal the CD to play the game.
Bottom line is a film that tried to bring back the horror craze but sadly it didn't succeed yet. This film was still very well done regardless with the dark humor and the spooky surroundings of being in a trance and murdering.
The film almost tried to be a new A Nightmare On Elm Street type of flick and I could see it having sequels and a cult following but sadly it didn't do that either. This one tried to bring back the horror craze but didn't grab the attention until 1996 when Scream got it going again. However, many knew the film and saw it but did better going onto video after it's short theatrical release. The film has alot of neat twists and special effects to top it all off.

The acting is great in this film as lead actor Edward Furlong (Michael Bower) still struts his stuff since his days in Terminator 2: Judgement Day really knowing how to freak out about playing the computer game and being a murderer. A great shocked and frightened expression on him while spotting the death he experienced from his game on the TV news in a certain scene. He really let it out well after smashing a game disk he received in the mail. Reacted well after watching himself on TV after videotaping himself and getting angry after seeing what he is about to do. He's terrific when he tries to contact his friend and really spazzing out. Does a nice performance by trashing his computer and other devices in his attic.
Frank Langella
(Detective Hayden) does a great job with his serious attitude as a concerned detective on the murder cases. Offers a great bluntness to whatever he had to say as well as getting to the point with stuff. Basically studied his part inside and out with this role and lived to play it. Had the right tough serious looks which was another great bonus to his role.
T.
Ryder Smith (Trickster) was fabulous as the evil one behind the game with his evil charming attitude and demonic expressions along with his evil humor. Shows off a nice sarcastic behavior and shows off alot of great adrenaline and spunk into what he did rolling with the punches. He for sure portrays a nice evil type of clown type horror character. Seemed to portray a Freddy Krueger type of persona with this role and doesn't act phony at all with his timing.
Amy Hargreaves
(Kimberly) pulls off not too bad as a beautiful teenage girl for the scream queen in this one which is what we needed. Shows off a nice calmness to her role as well as having a kind personality which was believeable. Plus does well screaming and freaking out in a scene when someone is attacked just really bringing this to a high level of energy.
Supporting actor James Marsh (Kyle) presented himself well as the outrageous friend fascinated by horror movies, heavy metal music and games too truly knowing how to play an outsider. He for sure knew on how to act annoying and dorky with what he was doing as he reminds me of other misfit kids who don't act like a regular in school. Had the right looks and appeal to this too.

A child's leg is mangled
A man's leg is cut

We have some creepy violin and synthesizer tones by John Flynn as well as some good piano playing too. A nice deep and heavy synthesizer tone for the opening which my guess is the theme song with some nice electric guitar twanging which was used for the other moments but at times it gets very annoying hearing it go over and over again. Nice jungle beats and stick playing for a chasing scene which really fits in with what was going on in that scene.

We have a perfect 90's heavy metal soundtrack by groups such as

White Zombie -
"Thunder Kiss '65 (Swinging Lovers Remix)"
Old - "A Beginning/Two of Me" , "Freak Now/Pericynthion"
Ben London - "AFC Theme" , "Shapes"
The Butthole Surfers - "Leave Me Alone"

Dr. Fromberg: What was the you were watching, Mr. Brower?
Michael: "Death, Death, Death...
Dr. Fromberg: I see.
Michael: ...Part 2"
Dr. Fromberg: Oh my god. Tell me Michael, why do you watch these films?
Michael: Really?
Dr. Fromberg: Yes, I want to understand.
Michael: Well, it's kind of like an escape.
Dr. Fromberg: An escape. Like lighting up on marijuana or watching a pornographic sex film, getting an erection and raping someone?
Michael: I don't think erections rape people, people rape people. .

Michael: It wasn't supposed to be real!

Michael: Kyle!
Kyle: No, it's Axl Rose!

[Micheal hugs Kyle]
Kyle: Watch out for my lucky charms! They're magically delicious! Hahaha!

Kyle: That outfit's totally bitchin'.
Stacie: You think so?
Kyle: I know so. You look just like that one girl in that one video by what's his face. Only better.

Michael: Erections don't rape people, people rape people.

Michael Bower: Kyle!
Kyle:
No, Axl Rose!