Wednesday, 31 August 2016

The Mind's Eye (2016): Review

The Mind's Eye is a 2016 sci-fi horror film. Written and directed by Joe Begos (Almost Human) and starring Graham Skipper (Almost Human), Lauren Ashley Carter (Jugface) and John Speredakos (House of the Devil). The movie debuted at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.

The film follows Zack Connors (Skipper) and Rachel Meadows (Carter), 2 incredibly powerful telekinetics who find themselves imprisoned by the evil Slovak corporation. Dr Slovak (Speredakos) is a fellow telekinetic intent on keeping their powers contained and, eventually harvesting them for his own devices. After escaping the Slovak facility, Zack and Rachel find themselves on the run, pursued by Slovak's goons, and their powers still suppressed from chemical injections. They eventually find their powers returning to them as Zack is forced into a final confrontation with the twisted Dr Slovak.

It may be stating the incredibly obvious, but The Mind's Eye IS Scanners (1981). Not a sequel, or an homage but a carbon copy of the classic sci-fi film. Little effort is made to disguise this, or maybe tweak the plot a little to give it a new twist and the lazy script is a constant reminder that there is no involvement of such a visionary as David Cronenberg. The plot limps along, punctuated by laughable scenes where telekinetic individuals stare and grunt at each other until something explodes (possibly in their pants), although this sometimes results in impressive gore, it usually results in not much at all.

The dialogue walks that fine line between being intentionally schlocky and just being really bad, usually landing on the latter side. The only redeeming feature about the movie is the music and sound design. The film begins with a message telling you to turn your volume up and the various pulses and dubstep style womps added an extra dimension to otherwise uneventful telekinesis battles. The music is a synth soaked, John Carpenter love letter and helps to support the period setting (although this is in 1991) but also reminds you of much better films you could be watching.

Quotes for the film heralded it as "The best Scanners Sequel we never got" but I would argue it was the Scanners sequel we didn't need (and we already got two of them in the 90s). Wholly derivative and unoriginal, sometimes it's worse to get a remake that doesn't declare itself, and this is it!

* 1 star

What did you think of the film? How does it compare to Scanners?


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