Technology always gets the short end of the stick. How many times have we seen a Robotic takeover in science fiction and horror? Remember fear dot com? There's always something scary about technology that is exploited into movies that scare us, or try to scare us. The same thing goes for our latest review. The 1994 movie Brainscan is an interesting look into how scary things would be if hypnosis was possible through video games and computers. The movie was ment as a scary film, but ended up being more comedic to me than scary and therefore we get another failed attempt at a horror film and moreover...my review. I guess you just can't over analyze a lot of horror film because it just seems dated, but I'll give it my best shot, as I always do. So today, we're going to look at the 1994 teenage horror film Brainscan.
The premise to Brainscan is simple. The movie revolves around a couple of horror fanatics. Edward Furlong plays a computer nerd who is in love with his neighbor, and loves computer technology. On one fate filled evening his friend convinces him to buy a cd-rom called "The Scariest Game Ever" and he obliges and buys it. A few days later it arrives and we get a peek into the nightmares that parents might have in regards to video games and hypnosis.
Here is a trailer for the movie Brainscan:
The movie looks a lot like a Goosebumps made for television movie, but the production values rise a little with some of the special effects. As the main character gets the cd-rom he realizes that the video is hypnotic and things start to really go wrong. The cd plays a video in which you are in a first person view of a murder. The character goes through the motion and stops the game, moving forward. As he turns on the news he realizes that the death in the game has become real, and he becomes paranoid and scared.
To top it off, there' is a monster/imaginary character that shows up, which is scary. If you saw the movie "Little Monsters" with Fred Savage, "Drop Dead Fred", or "Beetlejuice" you see that this is no new kind of set up. This new imaginary character cajoles the main character and his friend into running around trying to figure out how to stop the cd-rom from taking control of them and the world!
The scenarios are so outlandish, and the bodies start piling up, yet there is such a bad comedic underlining to the film that you really are taken aback. The movie really doesn't feel like a horror movie after the first twenty minutes and it really suffers. I kid you not when I tell you that the film really tries to combine the aesthetics of "Little Monsters" with something like "976-Evil" and fails in dramatic fashion.
Brainscan is a nice idea on paper but in movie form it's another terrible movie and not something that is worth over thinking. That being said, I don't recommend this film for everyone. However, I do think the actor's do an adequate job, even if the subplot about love and what not is somewhat the premise of "Drive me Crazy"...but that's for another time.
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