|Awesome! I needed a new release for my Laserdisc player!|
|No wonder parents were upset. It's so realistic!|
Anyway, Kyle comes over to Michael's house and practically begs him to buy this sweet new horror game, Brainscan, mainly because he wants to play it. Cheapskate. It's supposed to be, like, the sickest game ever! Well, I guess the advertisers knew that their target audience was the Horror Club. So, Michael orders the game, it arrives, and he plugs it into his computer. And the game is AWESOME! You get to play as a murderer, in the first-person perspective --- it's super-sweet virtual reality! One problem, though...the murders that happened in the game? Yeah, they happened in real life, too. When Michael tries to quit the game, the voice from the game's hotline makes a personal appearance. He is a magical/demonic creature known as the Trickster (T. Ryder Smith), and he looks like the Leprechaun and Freddy Kreuger had a hair metal baby. Or maybe a blend of Frank Langella's Skeletor and the villain from Last of the Mohicans.
|LepreFreddy, or Skelehican? You decide.|
Shockingly (to me, anyway), the acting and directing in this movie aren't bad. Eddie Furlong didn't exactly win any Oscars for this, but he's not bad; this just reminds me how promising he was back in Terminator 2 and what a waste his career has been since, aside from American History X. Frank Langella adds a bit of class with his moderately intelligent detective; I don't get why his character, who seems pretty talented as a cop, stoops to illegal searches at one point, but the script is not his fault. I was less impressed with T. Ryder Smith's flamboyant Trickster. He's a cheap knock-off of the mid-90s wisecracking horror monster, and his awful hair and dress only made his goal ("Play this game! MWA HA HA!") seem more ridiculous. The rest of the cast was unimpressive, but not bad enough to specifically remember. Director John Flynn handled the film moderately well, I think. This isn't a great horror movie, but it was assembled in a competent fashion and it follows its own logic.
The same cannot be said about the script. Apparently assembled by someone who was never a teenage boy (guys don't ask "Buds forever?", they scowl and drink whiskey), but was apparently very stupid, this movie is riddled with script problems. Let's take the instance of Frank Langella illegally searching Michael's house; he finds that the fireplace has recently had a fire, which is suspicious in the summertime. Good detective work, Frank. Unless every single person in this movie is wearing layers, that is. Kyle sports a flannel shirt, leather jacket, and another flannel tied around his waist; Michael never has less than three shirts on, and he lurks in his attic, which is probably the hottest room in his house. There are more examples, like a high schooler hosting a party with alcohol that fills the block with street parking and occupies the front lawn. Because that happens. Or someone who, while digging a hole to bury a severed foot in, leaves their backpack with the foot inside unzipped. Dumb stuff.
Honestly, this movie isn't bad for what it is. The acting and directing are probably better than this concept deserves, and the special effects, while dated (think Lawnmower Man), fit the general video game theme. Of course, "what it is" happens to be a crappy horror movie. I'm sure this blew a few thirteen year-old minds back in the day, but it just blows now.