Much like in the classic 1981 Cronenberg sci-fi/horror, Scanners, The Mind’s Eye is a film about the exploration of psychokinetic powers. In fact, the science fiction thriller recently released on home video is much like Scanners in many ways. Film School Rejects even dubbed it “the best Scanners sequel we never got.”
The story focuses on Zack Connors (Graham Skipper), an incredibly powerful psychokinetic whom seems to oft find himself a fugitive because of his abilities. In lieu of a prison sentence or other ramifications, Dr. Michael Slovak (John Speredakos) convinces him to join in a study, luring him into agreement with promises that he can see his lost love, Rachael Meadows (Lauren Ashley Carter). Of course, Slovak’s intentions are less than pure and it’s not long after arriving at the institution that Zack sees this reality. Despite promises of being reunited with Rachel, Slovak keeps Zack away from her until Zack reaches his boiling point.
The film is well done and looks good, especially for its modest budget. The acting is mostly convincing and a sprinkling of Larry Fessenden sure doesn’t hurt either. The effects are strong, including Scanners-esque gore. Nothing feels too over the top or cheesy for the bulk of the film, which is saying a lot with a film of this type. The film does flirt with being pulpy and campy, but walks the line quite well.
However, there is an unfortunate moment where the suspension of disbelief comes into question. While not necessarily unrealistic based in the world in which has been built by the film, the final battles cross the line that they spend the rest of the film walking carefully along. In fact, exerting major psychokinetic energy looks a whole lot like fighting through a nasty bout of constipation. For this reason, battles, specifically the final two of the film, are very hard to take fully seriously. And, with good effects and good creative decisions from the filmmakers, this is a shame. A small recut could, perhaps, turn these final battles into the examples of how to pull off a well crafted psychokinetic fight scene.
Prior to these two battles, the film is nearly perfect for what it is. And, what it is, is a lot of fun. The Blu-ray includes a behind the scenes featurette and a commentary track. The film is also available on DVD and all major VOD platforms. Fans of Scanners or folks looking for something different this Halloween season could do much worse than a couple dollar rental of this film from 29 year old up and comer Joe Begos. For that matter, his other sci-fi thriller which also stars Graham Skipper, 2013’s Almost Human, is worth renting to make it a double feature.
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