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The Frighteners (1996)

The Frighteners (1996)

Michael J. FoxTrini AlvaradoPeter DobsonJohn Astin
Peter Jackson


The Frighteners (1996) is a English movie. Peter Jackson has directed this movie. Michael J. Fox,Trini Alvarado,Peter Dobson,John Astin are the starring of this movie. It was released in 1996. The Frighteners (1996) is considered one of the best Comedy,Fantasy,Horror movie in India and around the world.

After a car accident in which his wife, Debra, was killed and he was injured, Frank Bannister develops psychic abilities allowing him to see, hear, and communicate with ghosts. After losing his wife, he then gave up his job as an architect, letting his unfinished "dream house" sit incomplete for years, and put these skills to use by befriending a few ghosts and getting them to haunt houses in the area to drum up work for his ghostbusting business; Then Frank proceeds to "exorcise" the houses for a fee. But when he discovers that an entity resembling the Grim Reaper is killing people, marking numbers on their forehead beforehand, Frank tries to help the people whom the Reaper is after!


The Frighteners (1996) Reviews

  • Surprisingly Dark


    What sets out to be a comedy movie with ghosts, (and anyone could be forgiven for thinking this is what it would be given that Michael J Fox has the lead) rapidly becomes a very dark supernatural thriller. The special effects still look good even by todays standards, and the story is solidly written, good characters and good direction, there is not much to criticise in this movie. The film itself is one that you should not miss, and certainly not because you think its something that it isn't. 8/10 A surprising film, that has probably been overlooked by too many movie lovers.

  • Expertly Crafter


    The Frighteners is an excellent horror-comedy-drama in which Michael J. Fox plays ex-architect and now psychic scamster Frank Bannister. The film revolves around the premise that Frank, after being involved in an accident which resulted in the death of his wife, can now see disembodied spirits and runs a scam in which the ghouls haunt houses under the order of Frank and then he 'exorcises' them for a fee. However, a series of murders begin in Frank's town and it becomes achingly clear that these murders have something to do with his wife's death. The romantic involvement comes in the form of Trini Alvarado (Little Women) who plays a doctor who's husband was killed by the evil forces at work. This film achieves many things, it manages to create a comic atmosphere at times whilst being able to make us feel real sympathy for the character of Frank and his tragic circumstances. This is a truly under-rated film and it is well worth watching.

  • Fun and frenetic


    The Frighteners is a fun little movie from the mid-90s. It has an pleasing mix of stars who hit their stride in the 80s (Fox,Wallace, and Ermey) and others who count this as among their first works (Alvarado, Busey, McBride). It is an odd mix of horror and humor from Peter Jackson and had state-of-the-art special effects for the time. The Frighteners, filmed and produced in New Zealand, was the biggest special effects movie made at that time outside the Hollywood movie base. It made extensive use of blue screens and had over 400 computer-enhanced special effects. Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh wrote the script and Jackson directed and produced the film. The Frighteners has an overall tone of whimsy but also has some impressive horror movie moments. The Danny Elfman score fits the movie perfectly. Frank Bannister, played by Fox, is a widowed psychic investigator exploring supernatural goings on in a placid rural town. Newcomer Alvarado plays his romantic interest. Veteran actor John Astin plays a ghost called The Judge who has seen his better days. Ermey plays drill instructor (go figure), Sgt Hiles, who is in charge of the local cemetery. He has several lines and a general demeanor that pays homage or satirizes (depending on your viewpoint) his character in 1987's Full Metal Jacket. Jake Busey plays a good bad man, and McBride plays a funny role as Bannister's ghostly aide. The Frighteners is amusing, frightening, entertaining, and a bit exhausting. It is a great Fall or Halloween movie.

  • Michael J Fox works brilliants - look how many scenes he acts alone without other people together!!!


    The basic concept of what Jackson was trying to do with The Frighteners is what originally drew me to the movie (remember, this was back in the day when Jackson himself was relatively unknown). Unlike the Ghostbusters Peter Venkman, who was more than content to dupe people into believing in supernatural, the lead character in The Frighteners fully believes in the existence of the supernatural, even using his own connections with the supernatural world to help convince people they are being haunted. He then goes in and cleans up the haunting, charging exorbitant fees for his services. That subtle difference in a character's motivations really made me interested, especially knowing the lead was being played by Michael J. Fox, one of my favorite actors. The problem for Fox's Frank Bannister comes when his own con-job comes true, a real haunting is going on by an extremely nasty ghost who's not just haunting, but killing people. Due to his own supernatural powers, Bannister can see who the evil spirit has slated for death, putting him in the awkward position of stopping the spirit and saving the doomed people, even those who have attempted to debunk Bannister's abilities. Michael J. Fox is brilliant in the leading role. Until this point, most of the characters Fox had played were really goody-two-shoes types, from Back to the Future's to "Family Ties". Frank Bannister is a person who is uncomfortable around people due to his supernatural connections. There is nothing overt about Fox's performance that communicates this, it's in the little things: the way he conducts himself around people to his clothes and haircut. At the same time, Bannister isn't quite at home with the ghosts that surround him. Honestly, how comfortable could it be to have a ghostly old-west Judge chasing a ghost dog who's carrying his jawbone around your house? Considering how many of the scenes involved Fox filming to nothing but air (and adding the ghosts in later), his performance is quite amazing. Giving virtual performances is often a trying experience and not everyone can pull it off, but there's no doubt in Fox's performance that the ghost world he can see exists as strongly as the physical world. Fox isn't alone in the performance department though. Jackson filled his spirit world with some spectacular actors, from Fox's "business partners", '70s afro-ed Chi McBride and geeky Jim Fyfe, to the more characterized performances of The Judge (John Astin), the drill sergeant guardian of the graveyard (R. Lee Ermey) and the evil spirit himself, played by Jake Busey in a role that makes him seem a little too much like his old man. Jackson's selections are a far cry from his prior independent film, mostly gained through the advantage of having Robert Zemeckis as the Executive Producer. The Frighteners marks that in-between period of Jackson's career, as he transitioned from a small-time independent horror director to the big budget filmmaker he'd become. This transition means there are some aspects of Jackson's less polished filmmaking involved. Most notably is something that hasn't gone away yet in Jackson's career: his insistence on filming in New Zealand.

  • scary, funny and exciting.


    During the 90's i rented about 7 movies per week. There is no other film that has made an impact on me as this one did. I've seen it all. David Lynch movies, Scorsese, mr. O. Stone, James cameron. Small independent movies from all over the world. Big Hollywood productions. Japanese films (without subs i might add). The best of the best, with great casts and even better directors. This little gem is unbelievable. It blew me away at every turn. I totally wasn't prepared for this movie and since i only saw one Peter jackson movie before this one, my expectations weren't that high. But after this film i immediately went looking for more of Peter's stuff. This movie has it all. It's enormously entertaining, scary at times but also very funny. It's not predictable at all. Mr. Fox is absolutely brilliant. Even now, 16 years later i still remember this film because it made a huge impact on me. I saw it's rating here on IMDb. 7 points is really not enough compared to the joy this film has given me.


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