Above: Life in Hell © 1985, Matt Groening
If I had to make a Charles Foster Kane-like "Declaration of Principles" for Scanners (and if I haven't already done that sometime in the last seven years, then maybe I should), it would include such fundamental tenets (all-too-familiar to regular readers) as:
* Whether somebody "likes or dislikes" something is not something anyone else can do anything about, and therefore is not a fit subject for criticism.
* Neither is speculation about somebody's motives for "liking or disliking" something. All that matters is what they say, not what you guess their motivation is for saying it -- just as all that matters to criticism is what's in the movie, not what you imagine the filmmakers' intentions were. Is it there, or not? If it is, it can be talked about. If it isn't, when where's the evidence? Even speculation has to be based on something.
* A movie is always to some degree about what happens to you as you are watching it. (Which means, the questions and suppositions and emotions you have are part of the experience.)