Ryster’s review published on Letterboxd:
Hoop-Tober 2 - Film #21
Here's the thing with Scanners, it's a film that has a lot going for it but also has some things that don't go for it. I loved the story, the special effects and some of the acting in this but it did bore me at times and the main actor in this is just bad. I also found myself laughing a few times and it's only because the faces these scanners make are just so over-the-top. At times it looks like an 80s music video with all the quick movements. David Cronenberg's work is now something I want to see more of. First Rabid now Scanners. They're just so different, fun and most of all great to watch. Scanners isn't really a horror and is more of a sci-fi thriller that is bloody and violent. It's mostly known for one scene in particular, where a scanners head explodes. That scene is right at the beginning and wasn't even my favourite part. Without a doubt the final confrontation is my favourite, it's just so fun with great make-up effects and great over-the-top acting from Michael Ironside.
Scanners are people who were born with incredible telekinetic powers. A handful of Scanners are good and use their powers for good but there's a group of them who plan to use their powers for world domination. However a doctor has one Scanner in his care and decides to use him against the group in an attempt to save the world.
The acting is a mixed bag. We get someone like Michael Ironside who's great at playing a crazy person but then there's Stephen Lack who lacks any real interest for the film. The film doesn't get ruined by bad acting though, actually there's more good than bad but when it's bad you just notice it. The special effects and make-up are brilliant. Heads explode, veins pop and skin bursts and it's excellent. The story is interesting and enjoyable with some social commentary tied in there as well. But no matter how interesting the story is it doesn't save the film from dragging at parts. David Cronenberg is a director that you either like or you don't. I like him but his films are very different from a lot of things. He's great and in Scanners he manages to create tension just from people's reactions and involving an awesome score. The ending is awesome. It's over-the-top but the acting by an insane Michael Ironside and the amazing make-up effects gave me a lot of entertainment. Scanners is a very entertaining but different piece of work. It will be loved by some and hated by others. I liked it and found it to be enjoyable.