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