Monday, October 07, 2013

31 Days of Halloween - Day 7 - Movie 2

A scientist recruits a Cameron Vale, a young man with powerful telepathic powers to hunt down other "scanners" like him. In the process, Vale uncovers a vast conspiracy involving a chemical company and a plan for world domination.

At the time of it's initial release, David Cronenberg's Scanners (1981) was incredibly popular for its cool concept of telepathic assassins as well as its state of the art make-up effects depicting throbbing veins, spurting blood and eyeballs, and in an infamous early scene, an exploding head. Looking at it now, it seems to be one of Cronenberg's lesser films. The concept is still strong, but the film moves slowly and no amount of political intrigue can disguise the thin plot. Cronenberg's cold, antiseptic environments and filmmaking techniques are matched nicely by Howard Shore's music, but unfortunately the characters are also distant with little seeming to be going on below the surface making it difficult to relate with, or even side with any of them. Michael Ironside plays the most intriguing character in the movie, but is never given enough screen time to become anything more a sketch of a character himself. Cronenberg's films are smart enough that Scanners is worth watching, but now it's more of a curiosity than essential viewing.

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