Year of Release1981
DirectorDavid Cronenberg

Another one from the brilliantly demented mind of David Cronenberg. Scanners is a movie that I’d seen before but so long ago that I basically had no recollection of it. No recollection save that epic “Exploding head” scene from when I was younger. Now as an older man, going back through Cronenbergs works, I feel everything Cronenberg does seems to have an air of genius about it.


This particular film opens up with a resterant scene in which Cameron Vale a “Scanner” can hear the thoughts of other people. A couple of old ladies that don’t particularly think that much of him suffer some kind of strange episode whist Vale is near. Vale then finds himself in the custody of Consec corporation who are “researching” the psychic abilities of the scanners.

Some ongoing research is being done regarding the scanners. Are they a higher form of human evolution? In some ways, Yes. In other ways, No. They can’t function as normal members of society. Not with all that noise going on in their heads. Either way they are being killed off with Vale being one of the last remaining “Scanners”. A doctor looking after Vale sets off with Vale and looks for one of the other scanners in the hopes of connecting Vale into an underground network of scanners. Scanners do not function well in society. I feel there’s a social commentary here, about mental illnesses or disabilities and trying to show some people who may considered outside the scope of normal mental psychology may have different abilities. Can the scanners survive in a world that fears them? Watch the movie and find out!

Director, Cronenberg has an unnerving ability to disturb the viewer. He consistently seems to be able to touch at something that deeply disturbs those who think about his concepts in any way more than just a passing thought. His eye for detail and vivid color capture really add to the atmosphere of this film.

As with anything I’ve seen from Cronenberg, I really enjoyed this movie. It’s a thinker and a great watch. It’s also the film that propelled Cronenberg into some level of mainstream success. Brilliant stuff indeed and well worth your time to check this one out. Also be sure to check out some of the other Cronenberg movies I’ve reviewed here. I’d love to know what goes on in that guys mind, and his films ae certainly an interesting rabbit hole to fall into.

Be sure to keep checking back on this for more great horror movies on a regular basis!