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4.4 out of 5 stars 87 customer reviews

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(Apr 01, 2003)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

When a lonely teenager (Edward Furlong, American History X) orders the latest interactive video game, the high-tech wizardry penetrates his subconscious, where his darkest impulses lead him through a deadly maze of murder, deception and desire. Pursued by a homicide detective (Frank Langella, Robot & Frank) and prodded by The Trickster (T. Ryder Smith, Birth), he is torn between the worlds of good and evil, reality and fantasy, and — ultimately — life and death.

A virtual reality game that allows players to commit murders is the crux for the high-tech thriller Brainscan. Edward Furlong (Terminator 2) stars as a monster movie/video game fanatic who receives a CD-ROM that challenges players to carry out brutal killings. When Furlong discovers that the murder has also occurred in real life, he attempts to rid himself of the game, but its hideous "referee," Trickster (T. Ryder Smith), refuses to let him quit until he has eliminated all witnesses--including the girl he loves (Amy Hargreaves). A flavorless retread of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, Brainscanis undone by its principals' lack of interest in producing a suspenseful film. Director John Flynn offers little variation on its stalk-and-slash scenes, and Furlong gives a half-hearted performance, though some of that blame must lie with Andrew Kevin Walker's leaden script. Brainscanwill offer passing interest to only the most non-discerning Elm Street aficionado. --Paul Gaita

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Victor Ertmanis, Edward Furlong, Frank Langella, T. Rider-Smith, Amy Hargreaves
  • Directors: John Flynn
  • Producers: Michel Roy
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: April 1, 2003
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008AOX2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,520 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Brainscan" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Oh, man, I love this movie. It's not perfect, but it takes such a fresh and juicy approach to horror that I can only wonder why more horror fans haven't feasted of the virtual flesh that is Brainscan. Sure, the climax of the film is predictable, and the plot requires the mega-indulgence of your imagination, and the final, final twist is something of a letdown (of little importance), but this film has pizzazz and originality, a heavy rocking soundtrack, and a genuine element of creepiness that flowed through my veins like liquid nirvana.

Edward Furlong of T2 fame plays Michael Bower, a rather solitary computer nerd of a teenager who lives in a world of horror films, computer games, and rock music; like many a horror fanatic, he is always on the lookout for the ultimate horror experience (although, as typically happens, he's afraid to make a move on the girl next door whom he secretly pines for). He sounds a lot like me, actually, but this kid has an awesome computer system (especially for 1994) which includes a virtual assistant named Igor. When his best (and only) bud tells him about this new interactive game called Brainscan (dude, it's advertised in Fangoria), he calls up the number and soon finds himself engaged in an experience he was not prepared for. The first disk promises him a realistic experience of killing from the viewpoint of the killer himself. Don't get hung up on the details because he basically just sits there and the game sends out some kind of special hypnotic waves toward his brain or something. Anyway, he's pretty stoked about the experience until he learns that a local man was actually murdered in an identical fashion - it was supposed to be just a computer game.
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Comment 22 of 24 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
I decided I had to review this when I read that some people didn't see the trickster as scary. I agree the trickster isn't scary. That being said, I don't really want to see him as scary because, to me, this movie isn't about being scared. To me this is a great nineties gem that reminds me of all the horror media I enjoyed growing up. Granted it's rated R and is a tad more extreme (being that it is brought to you by the same man who brought a movie about the seedy underground pornography industry [8mm]), but to me, it still has the same appeal of an are you afraid of the dark or a goosebumps. The kind of story that is somewhat of mix between friday the 13th, and stand by me.

Part my attraction lies in that the protagonist is a horror obsessed computer nerd, whom I resembled at more than one point in my life. I can relate to this kid of many levels and I guess I longed for an adventure like this to come along and sweep me up

No this isn't an epic, it's a movie of the week, but it's very sentimental to those of us who remember having the time of our lives reading a goosebumps or watching an are you afraid of the dark. If nothing more, the appeal of this movie lies in the less than popular kid getting the girl and having a few creepy encounters along the way. That story,no matter how many times told, will always draw my interest.

So I guess this is to me what back to the future/ star wars is to many others. They can have that. I'll take my brainscan
1 Comment 17 of 21 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: VHS Tape
BrainScan is a great (and very sadly underrated) movie that is definitely one of the better horror films of the 1990s. It has a good and strong plot, as well as great effects, top-notch acting, great soundtrack, and Trickster is a very cool and funny Villain. For those of you who seek Gore, you'll be very surprised at how gory this film is. Very entertaining with a lot of replay value as well. Hopefully this film will be on DVD soon and will get a good treatment.
Comment 12 of 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
Unlike a lot of underground "B-rated" horror movies, this one actually has great production and great direction. I think a lot of people, including myself, can identify with Edward Furlong's character. I know besides working, all I do is stay inside all day and play video games, so I know what that "distance" from people feels like, which seems to be sort of an underlying theme in the movie, at least to me. I recommend this movie to fans of Edward Furlong, gamers, horror fans, and/or loner types.
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Format: DVD
Without a doubt, this is one of the most entertaining horror flicks of the early 90s packed with plenty of suspense and thrills and of course, EYE CANDY! "Brainscan" is an incredibly fun, psychological nightmare that stars Edward Furlong (who also starred in "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" in 1991) as troubled teen Michael Bower who lost his mother as a child and seldom ever gets to see his father who is always away on business trips. He finds refuge with close friend, Kyle (James Marsh) and his collection of violent low-budget horror movies, while having a crush on the sexy girl next door, Kim (Amy Hargreaves).

After reading an add for the all-new virtual reality game (the title name of the movie itself) in an issue of Fangoria magazine, Michael receives a trial version in the mail and decides to try it out, considering that it is claimed to be the ultimate experience in terror! The gameplay is simple: Michael must find and kill someone within a certain time limit, or it's Game Over! But soon, Brainscan turns out to be more than just a game when Michael discovers that people die for REAL!

The police arrive to the scene of the crime and Michael must clear his name off the list of suspects with the help of the mischievous Trickster (a creepy and campy performance by T. Ryder Smith) However, to do this he must continue playing all four parts of the game. The only problem is that now the whole neighborhood is on the search for the serial killer and Michael will have to remain anonymous, while destroying all pieces of evidence before the clock runs out! A(n) original plot and script, great acting, and awesome special effects make up this 1994 low-budget blockbuster hit! Take my word for it, there normally isn't that many good modern horror flicks, but this is one of the very few that actually ARE! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! :)
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