Macabre…ish Horror Review: Brainscan



Brainscan, 1994/ 1 hr 36 min


Horror film buff and gamer, Michael Brower (Edward Furlong), lives an isolated existence, neglected by his wealthy father, he spends most of his time alone in the mansion. He has everything he wants in his bedroom. Plus a crush on his next door neighbor, Kimberly (Amy Hargreaves).


Michael has one friend, Kyle (Jamie Marsh), and they are in the horror club at school. Kyle tells Michael about a super realistic virtual reality game called Brainscan. He can get it through mail order so Michael immediately orders the first cd-rom.


As soon as he gets it, he pops it in and gets the warning message that the experience will be like a hypnotic suggestion. In the first experience, the host known as Trickster (T. Ryder Smith), he is encouraged to act as a murderer. So in the game, Michael kills a stranger and cuts off his foot for a trophy.


The next morning, Michael finds the man’s foot in his refrigerator and he is horrified to discover that a man is dead and has been murdered and is missing a foot in real life. Anyone who dies in the game, dies in real life.


But Kyle is desperate to play the game, Michael, knowing the truth about it, refuses. Michael is then tormented by Trickster because of his refusal to play the game. He even materializes outside of the game, he tells Michael, there was a witness to the crime and that he needs to put in the second disc and take care of the witness.


Originally refusing, Michael is eventually worn down and he plays but this time he doesn’t remember playing at all. But in his freezer is Kyle’s bloody necklace. He is almost certain he has killed Kyle even though he has no memory of it so he calls Kyle’s number. Instead of Kyle answering, Det. Hayden (Frank Langella) does.


Michael is terrified that he is going to jail. All the while Trickster is lurking and intimidating him, he soon tells him to kill Kimberly.


Later that night, Michael sneaks into her room but refuses to hurt her. Trickster materializes next to him informs him of who he really is. He then possesses Michael and that struggle wakes Kimberly up. And Det. Hayden is there, after Trickster opens the door, Michael is shot and killed.


In his room, Michael wakes up, realizing none of it was real and he excitedly calls Kyle, after realizing he’s still alive.


The next day Michael takes the disc to school so the Principal can view it, per his demand to preview all movies and games brought to school. And Trickster lurks in the background.


This was directed by John Flynn. This movie is so fun! Trickster is disturbing and oddly whimsical. The makeup and effects are well done.