The Frighteners (1996)


Produced & Directed by: Peter Jackson

Written by: Fran Walsh & Peter Jackson


Michael J. Fox .... Frank Bannister
Trini Alvarado .... Lucy Lynskey
Peter Dobson .... Ray Lynskey
John Astin .... The Judge
Jeffrey Combs .... Milton Dammers
Dee Wallace Stone .... Patricia Bradley
Jake Busey .... Johnny Bartlett
Chi McBride .... Cyrus
Jim Fyfe .... Stuart
Troy Evans .... Sheriff Walt Perry
Julianna McCarthy .... Old Lady Bradley

Release Dates: Theatrical: July 19, 1996;
Venice Film Festival: September 1, 1996




After the death of his wife from a car accident, he realises that he can talk to the dead so he uses this gift to con people.
Suddenly he faces a grim reaper type of killer that kills the living and resurrects the dead as he is on a tough battle in order to stop this evil madness.


The film offers a nice prologue in a mansion that has a supernatural situation along with the story offers thunder and lightning which is a perfect touch in a horror flick. THis scene was solidly paced that involves a frightened Patricia Bradley and her disturbed and bitter mother. The special effects were nicely done.
Afterwards we spot our lead character Frank Bannister who talks to ghosts as he cons people to stop their places by being haunted as there's the odd chuckle here and there especially with ghosts holding some babies in the air making out that they are flying which was hilarious to watch.
The ghostly special effects look very well done and the scene's were clever to watch but I wondered if this was actually a plain comedy with horror elements but things will happen for this to be a horror too when you keep watching the story.
In the story there's flashback memories on Frank as to what happened while driving in his car and what caused the death of his wife which certainly leaves an impression that a horror story will unveil as it takes place in the deep dark woods and then a some sort of grim reaper figure attacking so I was thinking YES!!!! This is for sure a horror while spotting this.
While still watching the story unravel Frank is a suspect for some murders and is peppered by a crazed FBI agent Milton Dammers as this was powerfully well done as well as nice careful camera takes on the two of them which looked greatly done in.
The action happens big time when Frank insists on being put into a freezer so his spirit can leave his body as he tries to hunt down this reaper as well as looking for clues on what is happening as this was cleverly written into the story so I was excited to see more of these situations unravel.
Then Milton appears at the graveyard acting wild as there's great effects with a paranormal force shoving coffins towards this psychopath plus seeing the reaper up to no good again as I was cheering while seeing all of this happen and good special effects throughout this scene. Definetely a nice horror touch to the story.
Frank and Lucy Lynskey steps into action while going to the mansion when they realise that Patricia and her mother aren't whom they seem to be as I was confused wondering if the reaper possessed their bodies or not. I couldn't figure it out but this was the best throughout the whole movie with lots of action fighting against these two women along with Milton and of course the reaper as things looked truly bizarre.
Nice comedic horror timing with a ghost of an evil sheriff Johnny Bartlett taunting Frank as this was highly adrenalised spotting all of this. But what's even better is we see great special effects as to who will go to heaven or who will go to hell. You will see what I mean when you check this flick out. It all looked incredibly powerful while watching all of this.
Bottom line is that this was a truly entertaining flick and offering the odd laughs along with the suspense and terror. It's hard to get big time funding for a horror flick but this was made on a great budget. Certain scene's seem to pay a tribute to Poltergeist as well as Ghostbusters. Very well done. Check it out.

The acting is terrific but only certain one's stand in mind so I will dig up as to who I fondly remember.... Yes of course Michael J. Fox (Frank Bannister) always does a great job in shows as he shows off a highly energetic attitude for what he does in his role. Offers a terrific heroic attitude while going into battle as this was his best performance during this moment in the story.
Trini Alvarado (Lucy Lynskey) certainly showed off a good sharp type of behavior into her role as well as reacting quick to certain things. She for sure showed off a ton of aggressive energy when things spark up. Shows off well onto the camera within her characteristics.
Jeffrey Combs (Milton Dammers) stood out the most in his supporting role as someone whom is crazed and eccentric. He really jumps into action greatly as well as showing off terrific insane aggressions especially in a scene when he peppers someone's mind in which this looked very realistic. He for sure was built on hate and fear. Had the right looks and appeal for this which was a bonus.
Dee Wallace Stone (Patricia Bradley) really brought it out as well in which she seemed to do well playing someone whom is fearful and somewhat a basketcase. Also offers a nice versatality when she turns psychotic and trying to lunge in for the kill. She certainly studied this role inside out and looked a little different in her presence than what we've seen her in other shows proving to be a worthy character actress.
Jake Busey (Johnny Bartlett) showed oiff a ton of spunk as someone whom is arrogant and getting into your face as he does this with great style. He was excellent by acting very annoying to the point that you'd want to slap him. Another fine character actor.
Troy Evans (Sheriff Walt Perry) was a natural ham as he for sure did well as a dorky type of lawman as he really can be well remembered from what he did in this flick. He for sure offered a ton of spunk as well as having the right looks for this role which was another plus.
Julianna McCarthy (Old Lady Bradley) did a terrific job as someone whom is cold, bitter and almost somewhat evil. Does a great job with her emotionless attitude as well as looking creepy too. She knew her craft with this role perfectly.

A person's head is decapitated.

Danny Elfman did a splendid job composing the music for this flick in which is classical music but sounded very strong and out there with the violin and trombone playing. Also sounded good for the real comedic moments as well as the suspenseful one's too. Although classical music for films seems to be a little overrated this time it sounds great for what we see in the flick.