Brainscan (1994)



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Movie Info

The tale of a CD ROM game that gives new definition to the term "interactive" is the subject of this horror movie, notable for its lack of the blood and guts that have characterized modern horror films. 16-year old Michael loves horror movies. The lonely, misanthropic nerd also loves computers. His mother is dead, and his father is frequently away on business so Michael has a lot of time to kill. While reading a horror magazine Michael spies an ad for Brainscan, an interactive CD-ROM. The game is designed to "interface with your unconscious." Intrigued, Michael buys it. Trouble ensues the first time he plays after he is hypnotized by the screen and dreams of stabbing a stranger and then amputating his foot. The shaken boy awakens only to discover a human foot in his refrigerator. He soon meets the evil rocker Trickster who lives within the CD. Trickster warns him that the police will soon discover what Michael did. To save himself, the boy must follow Trickster's rules. The first is that he must keep playing new versions of Brainscan.

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Critic Reviews for Brainscan

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (2)

Brainscan' works with a true phenomenon: the total immersion of young minds in the most gruesome horror movies.

May 31, 2018 | Full Review…

The hero, Michael, says horror is just escape, but the movie doesn't agree with him, pinning violence and its moral responsibility on him when all he wants to do is watch.

Nov 9, 2016 | Full Review…

Go pop in "Arcade" instead, and call it a day.

Nov 1, 2014 | Full Review…

kick ass, but in a very computer-in-the-90s kindofaway...

Dec 1, 2007 | Rating: 2.5/4

Cops out at the end, but fun until then.

May 22, 2004 | Rating: 3/5

There's not a damn thing on display here than well-traveled horror fans haven't seen 300 times before. And less obnoxiously.

Apr 26, 2003 | Rating: 1.5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Brainscan


Brainscan has a very unique idea for a sci fi horror film. This is an underrated horror film, and it deserves a better rep than it has received. Director John Flynn directs this film about a virtual reality based video game called Brainscan which places the player in the role of a killer. Though this film has some dated special effects, Brainscan's strengths lies within the acting and good plot. The concept of the film is good, and it's got some good ideas for an effective horror film, and it makes Brainscan a worthy film to watch. I personally think that the key aspect of the film is T. Ryder Smith's performance as Trickster. His performance makes the film even more watchable. Despite its flaws such as dated special effects, this is a terrific Sci Fi horror film that has good performances. Brainscan may be misclassified as a sort of Slasher film, but it's not. The film relies on atmosphere to create tension on-screen, and it works. With a combination of good acting, effective thrills, decent enough effects, Brainscan is a good, underrated sci fi horror film. Director John Flynn does a remarkable job at blending two genres. Brainscan delivers good thrills and is far better than what you'd might think. Brainscan is a a well constructed horror film and should be seen by fans who enjoy something different. T. Ryder Smith performance alone makes this worth seeing. Give Brainscan a chance, you may be surprised at how good it really is. Like I said, the cast deliver here and, it's one of the many aspects that make Brainscan such a cool bizarre sci fi horror film.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer


This movie is the cream of the crop of B-grade movies. This seems to be a follow on from Terminator II which stars Edward Furlong as a starring role, the producers loving it because he's "Hot" apparently, and Edward loving it because it's about him. This kid is sent the latest in video game technology, an interactive VR experience which sees him kill another human being, the catch being he's not allowed to leave any witness's or clues. You guessed it, it turns out to be real, and he is suspected for murder. The only way he can clear his name is to keep playing the game and try to cover his tracks, but move bodies pile up until it's all just too much for a sixteen year old to bare. The preformances are all top notch, except for the main ten actors, it's surprisingly watchable if it's late and there's nothing else on. The villan, a cyber-spook called the "Trickster" is supposed to be sinister, despite outbursts of comic relief behaviour, such as dancing around the boys bedroom to Primus' "Welcome to this world". Overall a good effort, and like i said, it's the cream of the B-grade crop.

Cassandra Maples
Cassandra Maples

Super Reviewer

I thought The Trickster was a great charcter. He sure entertained me. Also, the idea was well concieved and illustrated, especially as the idea of violence in entertainment affecting your behaviour is a very current one even now.

Kylie B
Kylie B

Super Reviewer

A fun and freshly original horror film. No real scares, no real gore, but this movie highly relies on heavy suspense, cool characters(one being Trickster for sure), and great atmosphere. The effects in Brainscan were cool as well, well at least for it's time and better than most horror films of the early 90's. The ending is quite mind blowing as well, and I'm pretty sure most of you will never see it coming. The biggest highlight in Brainscan is without a doubt Trickster, the wise cracking loveable villain who comes straight out of a scary video game. In some strange way, given that Trickster is the evil one, we find ourselves depending on him to come and save the day. It seems Trickster has all the right answers, and pretty much knows how to get our main character Michael(played by Edward Furlong), out of any tough opstical that crosses his path. The acting here isn't the best, but good enough for a horror film of it's type, and never becomes too cheesy. Given the outline from the plot alone this isn't a film that should be taken too seriously... "A lonely teenage horror-movie fan discovers a mysterious computer game that uses hypnosis to custom-tailor the game into the most terrifying experience imaginable. When he emerges from the hypnotic trance he is horrified to find evidence that the brutal murder depicted in the game actually happened - and he's the killer." It's never dull and it's always entertaining, and that's why it succeeds on it's own intentions. The main point here was just to be fun and simply entertain, and that it certainly does. As far as the script goes, again, not the best but also not that bad. The story itself is what's freshly original and the ending just adds onto that(the originality). Brainscan is an underrated hidden horror gem that I highly recommend to any horror fan out there.

jd cryptic
jd cryptic

Super Reviewer

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