The Mind’s Eye ought to hit the sweet spot for fans of early David Cronenberg, the more violent X-Men comics, and the kinds of indie horror movies Larry Fessenden always cameos in, as he does again here.
Set in the late Eighties/early Nineties and centering on a snow-covered facility studying psychokinetics, the second feature from writer-director Joe Begos (Almost Human) would be equally at home as either a Scanners or Marvel spin-off. The facility is purportedly for the subjects’ own good, but by the third time the doctor in charge (John Speredakos) bugs his eyes out and screams his dialogue, you’ll suspect something else is afoot.
Steve Moore’s delightfully Eighties score and a few appearances by super-bulky cellphones are the primary benefits of the period setting, while the many practical gore effects should keep your eyes either riveted to or permanently averted from the screen (the former in my case, all the way). Actual head-splosions are makeup, but returning Almost Human lead Graham Skipper is perfectly cast as a man who looks perpetually on the verge of bursting every blood vessel in his noggin.
Perhaps the only unintended modern touch: a principal female character named Rachel Meadows, suggesting that Begos is a fan of MSNBC.
The Mind’s Eye
Written and directed by Joe Begos
Opens August 5, Village East Cinema