This is the first in a series of films which maybe aren’t particularly well known, haven’t quite made it into the mainstream and films your are unlikely to see at your local multiplex. The Snooty Usher’s are here to make sure you don’t miss anything. So here is the first of our hidden gems.
The Mind’s Eye is a psychokinetic thriller which certainly pulls no punches in the gore and effects department, it’s the second outing for director Joe Begos following his impressive directorial debut with 2013’s Almost Human. Now, I consider myself a big fan of gory supernatural films which have a penchant for being slightly tongue in cheek, could this be the best Scanners sequel we never got?
The story follows Zach Connors, a gifted individual who is being held by villainious Dr. Slovak (John Speredakos) at an institute for people with psychokinetic abilities. The detention is not mutually beneficial as it’s soon revealed that Dr. Slovak is using the facility for his own nefarious means. He is draining spinal fluid from the captives and experimenting on himself to become the strongest psychokinetic warrior. Connors figures that something bad is brewing and decides to escape with fellow captive Rachael Meadows (Lauren Ashley Carter). The Dr finds out about this and a dramatic chase ensues, which leads to an unavoidable battle of the brains to find out who’s the best kinetic.
This film is definitely a hidden gem, I was told about this from a friend and had browsed past it a few times before I finally gave it a look and I’m glad I gave it my time. The film wonderfully juxtaposes a lovely backdrop of a snowy sleepy town, against some violent and bloody content. The soundtrack is chock full of 80s’ synth beats which draw on what Carpenter and Cronenberg were doing and creates an appreciation for what the director is trying to do. Begos teases the audience with colours very effectively; using contrasting blues and reds to show a grimey and dirty look to all the violence. The main pull of the film is obviously its unique take on psychokinesis and human experimentation, which it doesn’t delve too deep on but gives us an insight into where the story could eventually go.
The Mind’s Eye marries concepts from a lot of 90s as well as current films, Scanners (the head exploding), The Men Who Stare At Goats (aggressive cuts of intense staring), Videodrome and The Fly (general video nasty effects) and a blend of H0bo With A Shotgun and Re-Animator. Director Joe Begos knows exactly what he is going for and isn’t afraid to show it, peoples’ heads exploding into a oozing-red-mushy mist, body parts are ripped and torn and there is countless numbers of furniture thrown across the film.
Begos is definitely a name which should be noted for future releases, he exploits the Sci-Fi/Horror genre and you can clearly see from his films that he does his homework. You can enjoy this film alone, or to better the experience gather a few friends together and fully appreciate the multiple exploding head scenes.
This probably won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but it has all the ingredients for a great little film, so at least give it a try and form your own opinion. There is an excellent supporting cast; a plot which is gripping and not too convoluted, a beautiful soundtrack and stunning visual effects that will stay with you well after the film has ended.
Much like Begos’ previous film Almost Human, The Mind’s Eye will split opinion: you will either love it or hate it. However, I implore you to check it out. Until then, keep your eye on Joe Begos as I’m sure this won’t be the last we see of him.