A con-man who converses with the dead finds himself caught up in a series of murders committed by the ghost of a serial killer.
I remember first seeing the preview to this movie back in 96 and immediatly was interested in it, this is such an underated swept under the rug film that was a blast and had great elements of humor, drama and horror to it, great direction from peter jackson, i liked the casting of michael j fox in the lead, very cool stuff, the judge played by john astin was real fun to watch, and jake busey as johnny bartlett was great.
Great cast, Great effects, good horror/comedy storyline and brilliant direction from Peter Jackson. What more can you ask!!!!!
great movie! a fun ride
this was a good movie funny and enjoyable..rent it!
Starring Michael J Fox and Jeffrey Coombs, Jackson brings us a psychic investigator who can see numbers carved on people’s heads. Believed to be a fraud, Frank Bannister is magnetised to a serial killer called Johnny Bartlett (Jake Busey) who, even after death, is trying to climb up the death toll ladder by killing seemingly random people by squeezing their hearts to death?
By far the most compelling character is Coombs’s. As Milton Dammers, he gives us a very different insight into FBI investigation by combining psychic detection, cults, and a nefarious exploit into solving an old case: the death of Bannister’s wife.
What both characters do not realise is that all these events are inextricably knitted together with one Johnny Bartlett at its centre. Can Bannister stop the murders, aided by three ghosts be has befriended, or is Bartlett out to get more than revenge for his own death?
By far, this movie is under-rated. I am no fan of Michael J Fox (with the exception of the Back to the Future series), and the rest of the cast cannot be faulted. Milton is hilarious and follows Coomb’s artful interpretation of the horror genre after Re-animator.
The Frighteners is a fresh take on an old ghost story with interesting characters which keep the plot moving and the viewer thinking. If you haven’t had the opportunity to see it, then what the hell are you doing reading this!
The only thing I could do without was some of the ghostly comic relief; like John Astin humping the mummy for example. But aside from that this movie is great. It was awesome to see Michael J Fox in this sort of role and sad that it was his last real movie (especially considering it didn’t do so well).
Jeffrey Combs also appears in his best role since From Beyond. He’s so over the top and eccentric. Gotta love it.
The cgi effects, for it’s time, were great but really show there age now. Wish they would’ve stuck with more traditional means. Oh well…
Hell, it’s Michael J Fox hunting down death. Isn’t that awesome enough?
i don’t give a shit if nobody likes this but man this movie is by far very original,my favorite peter jackson movie braindead being second and bad taste third.
Not a bad movie but I enjoyed Braindead (Dead Alive) more. This one seems to be aimed at a wider audience.
Jeffrey Coombs and Trini Alvarado are both good, though. And the R Lee Ermey cameo is awesome.
This is such an underrated movie, a lot of people dont talk much about this movie but it ranks up there with House and Evil Dead 2 as one of the best horror comedies.
More Hollywood than Horror but still a very entertaining piece of haunted-schtick. Tremendous fun, rollicking storyline, a great cast and some very amusing moments. The special effects are great for mid-90s movie making. Part horror, part comedy, part mystery! 8/10
a pretty good horror comedy
Entertaining horror/comedy thing. Not very scary, but a fun rental.
can’t stand Fox. i’m not sure what exactly it is about this movie that i don’t like, but i just fuckin hate it.
Terrible. Stupid movie couldn’t make up it’s mind whether it was a comedy or a horror. The comedy was lame, and so was the horror. All in all, it basically tore itself apart trying to be both. It failed in my book.
Still, I can’t give it the lowest rating. I’ve seen much worse.
“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”
Perhaps the said proverb can be switched around a little bit to apply to Peter Jackson’s satirical horror fantasy “The Frighteners”. After that, I think it would read as followed: “All play and no work made “The Frighteners” a dull movie.” But then again, to say that “no work” went into the film would be wrong, because I assure you; PLENTY did. But I’ll assume that you know what I meant when I quoted that saying, and with a bit of luck, I shall be able to move on.
Jackson is a playful filmmaker. His films are often joyous, imaginative, exciting celebrations of the human imagination and desire to be entertained. This film really isn’t all that different from his other movies in terms of its main purpose; to pay a good number of cinematic homage and to engage the audience through pure spectacle. It’s not a bad movie, in fact, I was able to have quite a bit of good fun with it, but in comparison to some of Jackson’s more beloved achievements, it’s completely forgettable. Maybe the problem is that it’s all over the place with ideas; it wants to be a horror-comedy-satire that pulls elements from many sub-genres of that one large one, but dare I say, it doesn’t really work as well as it wants to. Granted, there are a few good laughs; but it’s a 50/50 situation where the remaining chuckles either feel forced or inspired. In short, it’s tediously uneven, disappointing, but undeniably entertaining and at least somewhat creative. I have absolutely no problem with it.
Frank Bannister (Michael J. Fox) lost his wife in a car crash and found himself the only remaining survivor, although he inherited something from that traumatic accident that he could have never expected. Shortly after everything had cleared out and he could return to normal life yet again, Frank had begun to see the ghosts of those who have passed on (or haven’t). He was able to see them, speak to them as if they were still living, and in a few instances, even befriend them.
Frank scams people into giving him their good money with the promise of exercising their house of demons. He sends his ghostly friends to the house of the future customers, and since they can’t see their unwanted new visitors, Frank’s business partners scare the living daylights out of them however they can. Frank makes plenty of money off of this; although a disturbance that gets the best and worst of both worlds, in the form of a soul-sucking spirit of a serial killer, aims to put a dent and possible end to the hero’s career. But with the help of some more understanding characters, including a love interest and an unnaturally friendly police officer, he might just make it through the ghastly madness.
If anything, “The Frighteners” is a fun little whimsy comic fantasy. It is well-made, sometimes well-written and clever, but other times it goes way too over-the-top to be fully endearing. Some things work and some things don’t, rendering it a rather…incomplete satire of its genre. But as I said, it does get some laughs; even if a few are sort of, should I say, just as unsure of themselves as we are of ourselves. My favorite scene is a spoof of “Full Metal Jacket”; where R. Lee Ermey makes an appearance as the ghost of his character from the earlier film.
The visuals are fantastic. Peter Jackson is a visual filmmaker; and a respectable one at that. He went from this to “The Lord of the Rings” film trilogy and the re-imagining of “King Kong”, so he went very far indeed. “The Frighteners” was made back when he still was content with making horror satirizations, but that is a Jackson that has long since left itself existent only in the past. I liked when Jackson was like this; but still, this is nonetheless minor as far as his overall filmography goes.
I was entertained by the film, so I guess I can’t complain even with it being as underwhelming as it was. It has flaws for sure, even if one brings themself to like it (as I was just-plain unable to do). I’ve seen better horror-comedies and satires, but then again, I have also seen worse. I don’t think this qualifies as a good movie, but I still would have to say it’s worth seeing just for the outstanding visual effects that were used. I admire it, I respect it, and there’s some fun to be had, but at the end of the day, “The Frighteners” doesn’t quite have the right about of frights and delights to be more than a simplistic but competently crafted, slightly-above-average potboiler. But at least that pot boils with much passion and style.
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