The Mind’s Eye Blu-ray Review

A dark, electrifying thriller that pays homage to Cronenberg’s Scanners

Heads literally explode in this relentless sci-fi/horror thriller from filmmaker Joe Begos. A spiritual heir to David Cronenberg’s underrated Scanners, The Mind’s Eye takes everything cool about Scanners and amplifies it tenfold. Its intricate practical effects will remind older viewers why we loved these type of genre flicks in the first place. A killer synth score that pulses with electronic menace perfectly sets this movie’s retro vibe back to the 1980s.

I believe The Mind’s Eye is going to become a cult smash as more audiences catch it on home video. This has future cult classic written all over it. The right audience merely needs to find it in the crowded genre space. Fans of taut, twisted independent cinema should love its slinky storytelling and gory effects.

The film is set in the early 1990s, possibly as a nod to the Scanners franchise it yearns for comparison. A couple with superhuman telekinetic powers become the focus of a government scientist’s quest to understand their powers. Zack Connors (Graham Skipper) and his girlfriend Rachel Meadows (Lauren Ashley Carter) both have the power to move things using their minds. Zack is reputedly the most powerful telekinetic they’ve discovered. He can’t always control its devastating power, harming everyone in his path.

Dr. Michael Slovak (John Speredakos) runs an institute for these gifted people. The government is interested in weaponizing their mental powers. Slovak himself has a sinister agenda planned for his patients. Dr. Slovak has developed a serum that temporarily inhibits their telekinesis.

Zack and Rachel are being held against their wills as he experiments with the spinal fluid that enables their powers. They will eventually go on the run as Slovak hunts them down, leading to a trail of dead bodies killed in increasingly gory telekinetic deaths. The plot becomes a relentless thriller taken to the limits of the Scanners formula. Heads convincingly explode in meticulously crafted set pieces. There is no need to worry horror fans, The Mind’s Eye has plenty of money shots for gorehounds.

The Mind’s Eye has no right looking this accomplished given its relatively paltry budget by Hollywood standards.

For a low-budget film loaded with stunts and practical effects, director Joe Begos and his crew have pulled off a small miracle. The Mind’s Eye has no right looking this accomplished given its relatively paltry budget by Hollywood standards. A beautifully sparse synthesizer score and droning audio design take the audience back to the 1980s, when genre movies were cut from a different cloth.

Independent films made on the cheap often have a few weak links disrupting their intended goal. Sometimes it’s the acting, sometimes it’s the script, sometimes it’s the director. What separates The Mind’s Eye is its complete execution and attention to detail in every phase of production. Clearly intended as a lost sequel to Scanners, filmmaker Joe Begos may have crafted a movie better than Cronenberg’s twisted original.

If an increasingly deranged scientist taking on scanners in devastating telekinetic battles sounds like a fun time to you, it’s because this is a fun movie. The Mind’s Eye is one of the most accomplished genre movies seen in recent times for its crafted storytelling and memorably sketched characters. It’s only a matter of time before it becomes a cult classic. Become cool in your circle of friends by seeing it now before everyone has heard about it later.

The Mind's Eye Blu-ray screen shot 12


RLJ Entertainment (also known as Image Entertainment) distributes the independent film on Blu-ray in a satisfactory presentation. The 87-minute main feature is shown at its intended 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The video is encoded in high-bitrate AVC on a BD-50. Made on digital RED cameras, it has a slightly softer aesthetic and cooler palette than most RED productions.

Pleasing clarity reveals adequate depth and dimensionality. A steady contrast and saturated color reproduction make this a decent-looking indie film on Blu-ray. The unfiltered video doesn’t shine with extraordinary detail and resolution. Solid but ordinary resolution make The Mind’s Eye a decent watch on Blu-ray.

The mostly pristine picture quality does suffer in some scenes with aggressive lighting tactics. Mono-chromatically lit in specific colors, stylish sequences in the final act offer poorer shadow delineation and some bouts of undithered chroma noise. The AVC video encode transparently replicates the movie’s digital intermediate without introducing artifacts of its own.

The Mind’s Eye has occasional flashes of stylized cinematography but largely hews to a steady, workman-like vibe that gets the job done. Casual fans will be hard-pressed to guess this was a low-budget production from its typically fine picture quality.


Where The Mind’s Eye truly shines from an A/V standpoint is a strong 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack. The audio’s space, presence and clarity help shape and mold its action – including a haunting, synth-powered score by Steve Moore and a terrifically memorable droning sound whenever Zack or Rachel use their psychokinetic powers.

The mix is constantly active in clear, directed cues. A curious tag preceding the movie claims this movie should be played loud and this track’s massive dynamics confirm that sentiment. Strong bass and excellent vocal clarity help the pinpoint dialogue in an explosive surround mix. It’s hard separating the audio design from the mix’s own quality, both are intertwined in a seamless fusion.

Optional English SDH and Spanish subtitles display in a white font, on the bottom edge of the scope framing.


Image provides an extensive behind-the-scenes documentary and two separate commentaries. This is a fairly complete set of special features for a new genre flick these days. About the only thing missing would be fancy packaging and a slipcover.

A Look Into the Eye of Madness (28:02 in HD) – An extensive, lengthy featurette interviewing most of the cast and crew, including director Joe Begos and primary cast members. Clips include on-set footage and a glimpse behind the scenes as filming was taking place. There is a nice balance covering the plot’s themes with a more technical discussion of the production.

Poster Gallery (00:30 in HD) – A series of different posters for the film.

The Mind’s Eye Trailer (01:52 in HD)

Image Entertainment Trailers (03:56 in HD) – Three trailers precede the main menu: Monster Land, The Hoarder, Kill or Be Killed. All look decent from the trailers.

Director commentary – Director/writer/cinematographer Joe Begos breaks his film down in this informative talk. The filmmaker has a good grasp of what he wants to convey as he covers several different aspects of making it.

Producers’ Commentary – Joe Begos, Josh Ethier, Graham Skipper and Zak Zeman join this loose, free-flowing discussion as they recall anecdotes working on the movie. Group commentaries tend to have more energy and this is no exception, as no one person has to keep speaking for long periods without a break.

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not influenced DoBlu’s editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

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Powerful, psychokinetic humans battle an unhinged scientist for their lives in this phenomenal flashback to Scanners.

User Review
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