“The Mind’s Eye” proved to be typical for what we in Austria call a “Rausschmeißer” – in this case not meaning the bouncer who doesn’t let you into a club, but rather the last song (or, in this case, movie) that’s played so that everyone gets the fuck up and leaves. In that regard, “The Mind’s Eye” proved to be quite successful. In most others, however, it was decidedly less so.
Let’s start with the few good things that I can say about this movie: There were a couple of good moments and interesting ideas (even though they were few and far between). I also liked that Begos, fully knowing that when a telekinetic starts to kill people, we automatically expect exploding heads (thanks to David Cronenberg), decided to take a different approach with his first kill (which, however, only made it even more regrettable that he went back to that cliché afterwards). I really liked Lauren Ashley Carter in this role. In “Pod”, she suffered from a terribly written character, and even though her role here also isn’t that great and/or big (and she really should stop appearing in all this bad movies), she ends up pretty much being the best thing about it. And director and cinematographer Joe Begos offers up some nice images, thanks to his considerate lightning of some scenes (though even that starts to get old over the course of the movie, since he goes overboard with it). Yeah… and that’s about it.
So, what’s not so good about it? First, it has to be said that “The Mind’s Eye” is very trashy and low-budget, and while I usually don’t have a problem with that, in this case, it occasionally felt a little bit too amateurish to me. This is especially true when it comes to the acting. Everyone with the exception of Carter and Fessenden is pretty bad; however, John Speredakos, who plays the villain, definitely takes the crown in that department, giving an absolutely terrible performance the likes of which I haven’t seen in quite a while. I was also disappointed with some of the characters, especially Rachel. It seems that for Joe Begos, women only have one purpose in films: To give character motivation for the main protagonist. Like Bryan Adams, everything – and I mean every fucking damn thing – that Zack does, he does for her, while she only gets one halfway strong moment in the spotlight. Thus, she ultimately proves to be quite a disposable character (which the movie actually disposes of for quite a long stretch of its running time).
Where Begos also failed is in finding an interesting way to portray the telekinetic duels. Once again, it boils down to two people staring at each other, which I found embarrassing at best, and unintentionally hilarious at worst. What’s more, “The Mind’s Eye” proved to be rather dull. Despite a reasonable running time of slightly under 90 minutes, it dragged along considerably, and ended up getting pretty lame. By the time the face-offs between the telekinetics come around, the audience in the theatre was already so bored, exhausted and lethargic, that even all the blood and gore didn’t make them applaud and cheer – and with THAT audience, that’s really an accomplishment (albeit not a good and/or laudable one). Some might pin this on the fact that “The Mind’s Eye” was the fifth and final movie of the day, starting at 1:00 a.m., but trust me, I’ve seen lots of movies in that time slot that still got huge audience reactions. But at least from my point of view, by the time all that blood and gore finally shows up, it was already past remedy. By then I simply was far too tired of the whole thing, and thus couldn’t have cared less about anything that happened on-screen. It was far too little, far too late, in order to save the movie.
Now, I’ll give you that: It at least isn’t quite as bad as the similarly themed SciFi-channel-production “Momentum” (from 2003). However, that’s hardly an accomplishment, and thus also not really what you’d call a ringing endorsement. I wouldn’t quite go as far as saying that I’d rather have my head explode before watching it again, but that’s about all the praise and commendation that I’m willing to extend towards “The Mind’s Eye”. Make of that what you will.