Follow TV Tropes


Film / Brainscan

Go To

"Real, unreal, what's the difference? So long as you don't get caught."
The Trickster

Brainscan is a 1994 horror film starring Edward Furlong, Amy Hargreaves, Frank Langella and T. Ryder Smith.

Michael Brower is a shut-in who spends his time with horror films, video games and spying on his neighbour Kimberly. One day his friend Kyle introduces him to Brainscan, a horror video game that puts the player in a role of a murderer. The game is fun, but he finds out that the game is more real than it seems, as the murders he commits in it also happen in real life. Understandably, he becomes reluctant to continue, but the game's avatar The Trickster goads him on to continue....

This film has the examples of:

  • Accidental Murder: Det. Hayden's partner is killed by a posse when he is mistaken for the perpetrator for the recent killings.
  • All Just a Dream: Everything between Michael playing the first disc and Michael getting shot on the perceived fourth disc, depending on your interpretation of the final scene.
  • Anything but That!: Trickster claims he wouldn't rat Michael out if he were electrocuted, had his fingers broken, or eyes gouged, but he draws the line at country-western music.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Michael takes his first victim's foot as a souvenir, and he places it his fridge.
  • Artificial Intelligence: Igor, who answers to Michael’s commands given to his computer. It also takes care of his phonelines.
  • Big Bad: The Trickster, the avatar of Brainscan.
  • Demonic Possession: When Michael refuses to kill Kimberly, The Trickster possesses him to force him to do it.
  • Fictional Video Game: The eponymous The Most Dangerous Video Game.
  • Fingore: When The Trickster tells Michael that there was an another witness to his initial murder, he tells Michael that he wouldn't rat him out, even if his fingers were broken. To drive this home, he starts breaking his fingers. To drive this point further home he sticks his fingers into his eyes.
  • Flashback Nightmare: Michael has a nightmare of the night when his mother died in a car crash.
  • The Game Plays You: Not only do the murders in Brainscan turn out to be real, the game zombifies the player and makes him a homicidal sleepwalker, it also lets out an evil punk known as The Trickster into the real world who forces him to continue "playing".
  • Humanoid Abomination: The Trickster is the incarnation of Brainscan itself, and is an Implacable Man capable of teleportation and Demonic Possession.
  • The Igor: The representation of Michael's computer's avatar is a stereotypical Igor, who calls him "master".
  • Kick the Dog: The Trickster's attempts to drive Michael into willingly committing murder revolve around this.
    Trickster: Buddies forever?
  • Missing Mom: Michael's mother died in a car accident when he was young, and it left quite an impact on him.
  • The Peeping Tom: Michael really likes clandestinely spying upon and photographing his crush Kimberly, facilitated by both being close neighbors with bedroom windows facing each other. At the end of the movie he discovers that she also likes to do the same thing to him, much to his pleasure.
  • The Power of Love: Michael is able to stop the game and fight back The Trickster's influence when Kimberly proclaims her love for him.
  • The Reveal: When Det. Hayden shoots Michael, it is revealed that everything that has transpired has been just a part of the game. But the scene in the early part of the credits begs to differ....
  • Self-Mutilation Demonstration: Trickster breaks his own fingers and digs out his eyes in front of Michael.