Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Edward Furlong, Frank Langella, T. Ryder Smith, Amy Hargreaves, James Marsh
Director: John Flynn
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
When a lonely teenager (Edward Furlong) orders the latest interactive video game, the high-tech wizardry penetrates his subconscious, where his darkest impulses lead him through a deadly maze of murder, deception and desir... more »
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One of my all-time favorite cult horror/sci-fi films
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 07/26/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Oh, man, I love this movie. It's not perfect, but it takes such a fresh and juicy approach to horror that I can only wonder why more horror fans haven't feasted of the virtual flesh that is Brainscan. Sure, the climax of the film is predictable, and the plot requires the mega-indulgence of your imagination, and the final, final twist is something of a letdown (of little importance), but this film has pizzazz and originality, a heavy rocking soundtrack, and a genuine element of creepiness that flowed through my veins like liquid nirvana.
Edward Furlong of T2 fame plays Michael Bower, a rather solitary computer nerd of a teenager who lives in a world of horror films, computer games, and rock music; like many a horror fanatic, he is always on the lookout for the ultimate horror experience (although, as typically happens, he's afraid to make a move on the girl next door whom he secretly pines for). He sounds a lot like me, actually, but this kid has an awesome computer system (especially for 1994) which includes a virtual assistant named Igor. When his best (and only) bud tells him about this new interactive game called Brainscan (dude, it's advertised in Fangoria), he calls up the number and soon finds himself engaged in an experience he was not prepared for. The first disk promises him a realistic experience of killing from the viewpoint of the killer himself. Don't get hung up on the details because he basically just sits there and the game sends out some kind of special hypnotic waves toward his brain or something. Anyway, he's pretty stoked about the experience until he learns that a local man was actually murdered in an identical fashion - it was supposed to be just a computer game. Naturally, he starts to freak out a little bit, but the friendly Brainscan mastermind is there to help him. Trickster (T. Ryder Smith) even keeps popping into his room in some kind of magically electronic fashion to guide (more like compel, actually) him through the other three game disks - he has to take care of witnesses, you see. Meanwhile, the law is circling in on him, he doesn't know what's real and what's not, and he's basically forced to keep playing the game. We all know who the last victim will be, of course, but we have to wait and see whether he can go through with the final kill. The ultimate conclusion comes as no surprise because there is really only one way to end a film such as this, but it was pulled off fairly well, throwing in a couple of elements that seemed a little left of center.
This was not some high-budget theatrical production, and that's fine - in fact, more money would probably have ruined this film. The acting isn't the best in the world, although Furlong improves as he goes along, Amy Hargreaves has that cute girl next door thing working to perfection, and T. Ryder Smith is an absolute joy to watch in the role of Trickster. Some mysteries are left a little murky, such as those about a trauma in Michael's past, and much of the secrets of the game play itself are basically just ignored, but there's no need to overanalyze this gloriously over-the-top film. I was a little annoyed at first by the darkness of the film print, but I soon concluded that this was a good thing; Brainscan really should be watched in the dark. Just sit back, give yourself over completely to the film, and reap the rewards of this ingeniously different kind of horror/science fiction/suspense classic.
Finally, I have to throw out some kudos to the makers of this film for including Zak the dog in the credits; Zak had a significant albeit supporting role in the film, but this canine earned his money and certainly deserved credit for his work."
FilmFanaddict | Anytown, USA | 07/24/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I decided I had to review this when I read that some people didn't see the trickster as scary. I agree the trickster isn't scary. That being said, I don't really want to see him as scary because, to me, this movie isn't about being scared. To me this is a great nineties gem that reminds me of all the horror media I enjoyed growing up. Granted it's rated R and is a tad more extreme (being that it is brought to you by the same man who brought a movie about the seedy underground pornography industry [8mm]), but to me, it still has the same appeal of an are you afraid of the dark or a goosebumps. The kind of story that is somewhat of mix between friday the 13th, and stand by me.
Part my attraction lies in that the protagonist is a horror obsessed computer nerd, whom I resembled at more than one point in my life. I can relate to this kid of many levels and I guess I longed for an adventure like this to come along and sweep me up
No this isn't an epic, it's a movie of the week, but it's very sentimental to those of us who remember having the time of our lives reading a goosebumps or watching an are you afraid of the dark. If nothing more, the appeal of this movie lies in the less than popular kid getting the girl and having a few creepy encounters along the way. That story,no matter how many times told, will always draw my interest.
So I guess this is to me what back to the future/ star wars is to many others. They can have that. I'll take my brainscan"
Seifer | 04/05/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"BrainScan is a great (and very sadly underrated) movie that is definitely one of the better horror films of the 1990s. It has a good and strong plot, as well as great effects, top-notch acting, great soundtrack, and Trickster is a very cool and funny Villain. For those of you who seek Gore, you'll be very surprised at how gory this film is. Very entertaining with a lot of replay value as well. Hopefully this film will be on DVD soon and will get a good treatment."
David Yates | Columbus, GA | 05/12/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Unlike a lot of underground "B-rated" horror movies, this one actually has great production and great direction. I think a lot of people, including myself, can identify with Edward Furlong's character. I know besides working, all I do is stay inside all day and play video games, so I know what that "distance" from people feels like, which seems to be sort of an underlying theme in the movie, at least to me. I recommend this movie to fans of Edward Furlong, gamers, horror fans, and/or loner types."