Friday, 20 July 2018

Review: Brainscan (1994)

Stars: Edward Furlong, Frank Langella

Budget: unknown ATM

Directed By: John Flynn

Eddie, Eddie, Eddie, Mr Furlong still fresh from his T2 debut stared in this video game based thriller/horror not long after.
the mid to late 90's tried to start a fear of gaming, it was getting to real!!
more and more violent game were being released and some people weren't happy with it. Hence we had a slew of films that tried to put the fear of what this evolution of gaming would do to us.
From this to, lawnmower man and existenz, plus many others that I may cover in the future. Lets get on with the review shall we.

We see old Eddie Furlong playing Micheal a boy in a fevered dream. He's dreaming about the night he and his mother apparently crashed and his resulting leg surgery. Though played on a lot, as in we see him limping from place to place its never a major factor in the films plot at all. We quickly see Micheal has a somewhat creepy crush on his next-door neighbor, a girl named Kimberly (played the absolutely lovely Amy Hargreaves). Creepy in that her massive bedroom window is directly across from his and she seems to frequently get nude in front of it, which Micheal films on his camcorder. though it's later shown she knows and even takes pictures of him!

Micheal is it seems is a techie into gaming and horror films. He even runs a horror movie club in school, though that is quickly shut down by the schools principal (at least I think he is) who is very dickish about it all. Micheal has one friend, Kyle who also seems to be a bit of down and out loser like him. Kyle informs Micheal about a new interactive game that's been released called brainscan that literally submerses you into it's game world (there's your get out of jail free card right there).

How is Micheal able to do/get away with all this?
His father is not at home, though this just says he's working hard to keep his home and son in some semblance of normal, a good dad in my books. Micheal sends away for the game and it quickly comes in the post. Playing it right away it seems like Micheal has taken on the role of a serial killer, he quickly dispatches his target and even takes the guys foot as a trophy!

Micheal wakes and thinks he's played a really realistic game, the next day he's horrified to find that the guy he murdered is plastered all over the news. Frank Langella plays an over bearing police officer who quickly suspects Micheal as he keeps showing up or is involved some way to each murder. Micheal finds the foot in the freezer and goes to bury it in the woods to hide the evidence. Kyle tries to get Micheal to let him play the game, being a dick about but just because he cares about Kyle he rebuffs him, though he takes it the wrong way.

Later in Micheal's room an embodiment of the games npc erupts from Micheal's TV as the Trickster, a weird looking guy with stretched features and a shock of red hair. He tells Micheal he must play the second disc of the game as there's a witness to the first murder and if he doesn't kill them too he'll surely go to jail. Micheal is willing to do the right thing but tries to get evidence to show that it's him doing the killings. Playing the second disc he awakes pretty much the same as he did the first time except this time he doesn't know who he's killed.
Checking the freezer he see's Kyles necklace in there, distraught he rings his friends house. The phone is answered by the police officer who listens to Micheal scream down the phone asking if Kyle's alright. When the officer answers asking who it is Micheal quickly hangs up the phone. The Trickster appears again and Micheal berates him for having him kill his best friend, the Trickster with no feelings tells him it was necessary but that he's messed up again. This time leaving footprints at the scene of the crime, Micheal agrees to play the 3rd disc only if he doesn't kill anyone. The Trickster just says to do as he wants so long as he does it in the allotted time.

Covering the tracks the Trickster phones the house where a forensics guy is doing some work and tells him that Micheal's out in the garden tampering with evidence. He gets away with the officer in chase (yes with his bad knee).
Unknown to Micheal Frank's officer has ordered a sweep of the neighborhood with some neighborhood watch members, who he specifically tells not to go armed. They do of course grab guns. Micheal manages to hide after killing the principal (?) under a ton of bricks.
The forensics guy shows up at the exact moment he's about to caught but as he's wielding gun one of the zealous watch people blows him away. This give Micheal much needed time to escape the scene.
Now earlier after Kyle's death The police officer came to Micheal's to question him and noticed the fire had been lit (Micheal had destroyed his bloody clothes from the first murder by burning them). He returns later breaks in and takes some ashes for the forensics team.

Micheal is falling further down the rabbit hole and has also fallen out with Kimberly after she says how much of a friend he was, when she hardly knew him. The forensics come back that there were trace amounts of blood of the first man killed in the ashes too. The Trickster tells Micheal there's just one more murder to perform, Kimberly, it takes some persuading but he agrees.
When it comes to it though especially when Kimberly tells Micheal how much she's secretly loved him too. Micheal cannot kill her, Unfortunately Hayden (the cop) bursts in see's Micheal with a weapon and quickly blows him away without a warning.

I won't spoil anymore though I think it's guessable at what happens next, but there's a few things after the fact that are quite funny too, one involving the Principal...
Over all it's a decent movie, it's nothing that'll get your brain juices flowing but if there's nothing else on i'd give it a go, even if it's just see Eddie Furlong at his screeching best before he takes the great gutter dive that is his carrier choices.
THN awards Brainscan a mediocre 3 out of 5 stars


Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Review: Child's Play 2 (1990)

Childsplay2.jpgStars: Brad Dourif, Alex Vincent

Budget: $13 Million

Directed By: John Lafia

The good thing about this one is it starts off not long after the last one and we see just how Chucky manages to come back from the dead too.

I mean how serious can you take a possessed wise talking small murderous doll right?
But from this one onward the humor starts to increase, in both kills, one liners and just overall acting.
I personally don't mind this at all but i know it's a reason for dissension among some fans, though it's no where near as much of a turn as bride of chucky did comedic wise.

A larger budget meant more special effects and better ones at that. This also meant you see a lot more of Chucky throughout the series from this film on, no longer just shoes under the bed or scampering feet sounds. No now thanks to a massively popular first film people though the audience wanted to see more of the puppet. Some would say this even detracts from it's horror somewhat, I disagree with this we are introduced to him in the first film we know who he is just get on with it this time. Which this film does nicely.

Two years after the incident where Andy, his mother and the detective managed to stop the good guy doll possessed by the soul of killer Charles Lee Ray the company decides to reintroduce the toy after losing sales. Now that Andy's mother is in a mental hospital and Andy himself fostered out for them both sticking to the story the company see's it as the prime time.
They even take the 'Chucky' doll and remake him too just to show how confident they are. While remaking him one of the factory workers is killed in a freak accident which they cover up. The Chucky doll is to be disposed of too.

Andy at this time has been adopted by Phil and Joanne Simpson who also have another kid under their care Kyle an older ex delinquent girl. Matteson the guy charged with getting rid of Chucky is killed after going into a shop, Charles has also found out where Andy is staying by ringing the foster homing place as a relative.
Reaching Andy's new house Chucky accidentally sets of another good guy doll that they used to try and break Andy out of it, Chucky caves in it's head with an ornament breaking it in the process. After burying the other toy Chucky takes it's place. Phil blames the kids for the destruction of the ornament and when they don't own up to it both are grounded.

Chucky in the night almost possesses Andy but is stopped when Kyle comes in from being out, Phil captures them both awake and Kyle being out past curfew. Saying he'll deal them in the morning he throws Chucky into the basement and goes back to bed.
The next day Chucky follows Andy to school, causing all sorts of mischief and gets Andy told off that he has to stay behind. Killing Andy's teacher with a yard stick, the kid just manages to escape in time.

Back at their home Andy goes to attack Chucky with an electric bread knife, Phil catches him in the act thinking Andy is quite bananas. Chucky attacks Phil making him fall down the stairs breaking his neck in the process. Joanne is convinced Andy had something to do with her husbands death sends him back to the foster centre.
Kyle however finds the broken good guy doll under the swing set and believes Andy. Chucky has killed Joanne however, capturing her Chucky makes Kyle take him to the foster centre where Andy is being held. Setting off a fire alarm Andy manages to escape with Kyle catching a glimpse of them as he does.

Before long they all end up at the good guy factory for one final showdown where Chucky manages to complete the ritual. Unfortunately it doesn't work as he's been in the dolls body for to long by now, enraged Chucky tries to kill both Kyle and Andy.
I'll leave it there as Child's Play 2 is well worth a watch a formidable sequel to a great first part in a long line of films to come, THN awards this 4 out of 5 stars.