Written by: Daniel Hadley
Directed by: Joe Begos
Cast: Graham Skipper, Lauren Ashley Carter, John Speredakos
The Mind’s Eye plays out like a forgotten eighties movie. From its deep neon blue and red lighting to its synth style soundtrack and its fantastic practical effects, The Mind’s Eye is indie magic and a fine reminder that creativity in horror is alive and well. The Mind’s Eye really is a thoroughly entertaining movie, just like a lot of the old eighties classics from way back when.
Delivered via text before the main credits, the film dishes out some details on psychokinetic’s, mainly that the government has been trying to weaponize the phenomenon since the eighties. We then open on Zack, a powerful psychokinetic wandering along the highway. After a scuffle with the police he is delivered to the doctor Slovak. Now despite sporting the name of an obvious villain, he is well versed with psychokinetic’s and offers a helping hand to Zack. He also lets on that if Zack plays ball he will be reintroduced to his girlfriend who, like Zack, has powerful abilities. After months of tests at Slovak’s institute without so much as a glimpse of his old flame, Zack decides to bust himself out, along with her, and the two of them go on the run from Slovak and his lackeys.
What follows is an increasingly violent, very entertaining chase that ends in a crescendo of exploding heads, lost limbs and a very well done axe to the face. The gore on display here is great, and all done without the use of CGI. Praise be to the lord of practical gore effects! If only more movies (and studios) followed this film’s lead, and made the decision to stop relying on garbage low-grade CGI, the world would be a better place. As it is, all it does is rip the audience straight out of the movie. Obvious CGI is always just that, obvious, and we as fans are a bit hungrier for something that appears more organic.
The acting is good across the board, aside from (John Speredakos) Slovak delivering a few cheesy villainous monologues which felt a little unnecessary, as it’s pretty clear what his endgame is. But some credit is certainly offered for his performance (he didn’t write the dialogue), even if I did want to see him get eviscerated. Where the film stands up the most is with its style. Like the recently released Stranger Things this film is very much a child of the eighties, despite the movie’s plot taking place in the early nineties, that is. Even the movies low budget lends itself to that decade. By the way, don’t you dare let the mention of a low budget picture put you off: this is a quality production, through and through.
There were admittedly a few things that niggled me, though. Why the hell does a sack over the head dampen psychokinetic powers? Why was the institute nothing more than a large house in the woods and that being the case why did Slovak have so much power over the police when his operation was so small and seemingly poorly funded? These are only minor complaints, but they did draw me out of the movie to some degree. The perfect example is the sack thing. It is implied that to use these powers you need to be looking at the object you wish to control, so my burning question is: why, if you have a sack over your head, don’t you just look at the sack which you know is right in front of your eyes and just lift it up? I know, it’s a nit-pick but I did find it a little… dumb.
Overall, flaws included, this is a very fun and gory way to kill ninety minutes. And while not perfect (really though, what film is?) it’s an easy recommendation. If you’re a fan of eighties horror give this a go and if not, watch it for the gore effects. Seriously that axe to the face was marvellous.
Joe Begos is now officially on a streak having successfully followed up on the impressive micro-pic, Almost Human. Keep pumping these beauties out, Joe. We’re watching!