Brainscan (1994)

At a time when virtual reality still held a frontier-like aspect, this superb story of Brian Owens, wonderfully adapted to the screen by Andrew Kevin Walker, and skillfully directed by John Flynn, holds, even for the viewer of today, imaginative facets and twists beautifully worked into an engrossing film. The depth and potentials actually exceed genre, with the reviewer finding several in which it fits…and fits in each splendidly.

Edward Furlong is Michael, a young devotee of the macabre with a little too much time on his hands, undecided between geekdom and chasing the lovely young thing next door (Amy Hargreaves.) Between him and his pal, Kyle (James Marsh,) an interesting mutual obsession with the more bizarre of video games develops and in this setting Michael is about to bite off more than he can chew.

Mayhem ensues, but is it real? The four parts of the game are each accommodated by a demon-like entity that appears like the rock star from hell. Just how murderous actually is he?, and how is our young Michael going to ultimately fare? The talented T. Ryder Smith plays this fellow, The Trickster and makes the game shine (or bleed…whatever.)

Frank Langella plays Detective Hayden, giving his usual sterling performance, but is he just part of the game or has he an actual manifestation beyond the virtual? You’ll have to answer that for yourself…it could be optional.

Well that’s all the hints you’re getting, but I will add this, at the very end is some super example of Karmic justice.

It is a movie great for kids and required for geeks, especially geek kids. It might even be useful in establishing a gradient for parents to decide if they have such a spawn in their progeny. Clue: if a geek, they will be exclaiming and holding their heads all the way through. DON”T GIVE THEM ANYTHING THAT MIGHT STAIN THE CARPET.



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