Watched April 7, 2013
Starring: Edward Furlong, Frank Langella, T. Ryder Smith, Amy Hargreaves.
I like to pair similarly themed movies together and after watching Arcade it reminded me of Brainscan, which I hadn't seen since it originally came out. Both these movies came out around the same time but Brainscan had a much bigger budget and the star power of Edward Furlong coming off Terminator 2.
Michael (Edward Furlong) is a teen haunted by the car accident that killed his mother and left him with a gimpy leg. His father is constantly away on business, so Michael spends his time reading Fangoria magazine and playing video games. He has a sweet set up of a computer that answers his phone calls for him in his attic room that is teen boy heaven. He regularly spies on his neighbor Kimberly (Amy Hargreaves) filming her as she undresses in front of the window. On a tip from his friend Kyle (James Marsh), Michael orders a new game called Brainscan. This game is supposed to the craziest new gaming experience like nothing you've played before. Even though Michael is a jaded teen he's ready to try anything. He orders the game off the 1-800 number and the first disc arrives the next day. The first round of the game has him murdering a man within an hour time limit. Michael completes this and exits the game to find the severed foot of the man in his fridge. Is he still in the game or is he committing these crimes in real life? That's the basic plot. It seems like the game has become real and taken over Michael's life. He has to complete all four discs of the game to get out of the game. This requires him to bury the foot, kill his bed friend all while trying to stay away from the detective (Frank Langella) who is investigating the case. The last thing he has to do the win the game is kill Kimberly, but he can't, even when the Trickster merges with him. Michael kills the Trickster and the game is completed. Michael comes back to the true reality where he has murdered no one. There is a weird part at the end where we see a dog with the severed foot in his mouth to hint that maybe it was real after all, except we know that Kyle is still alive.
This is a fine horror movie, but nothing really crazy popped out to make it extra special. The Trickster (T. Ryder Smith) is the game character that tells Michael what he needs to do next, and pops out of the game into Michael's reality. His makeup is pretty great and he is disgusting. The special effects hold up well as they did a lot of prosthetic work along with the CGI effects.
Edward Furlong has my favorite hairstyle from the early 1990's and that's enough to keep me engaged, but you're better off just watching Terminator 2 again. The Igor image/animation that answers the phone on Michael's computer was the best.