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The Frighteners (1996)

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After a tragic car accident that kills his wife, a man discovers he can communicate with the dead to con people. However, when a demonic spirit appears, he may be the only one who can stop it from killing the living and the dead.


2,631 ( 411)
1 win & 10 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Patricia Ann Bradley (as Dee Wallace-Stone)
Jim Fyfe ...
Stuart, Bannister's Ghostly Assistant
Julianna McCarthy ...
Desmond Kelly ...


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! Written by Anthony Pereyra <hypersonic91@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


When your number's up, its up. See more »


Comedy | Fantasy | Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for terror/violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

19 July 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Robert Zemeckis Presents: The Frighteners  »

Box Office


$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$5,565,000 (USA) (19 July 1996)


$16,524,115 (USA) (30 August 1996)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The 'Russian cannibal creep' referred to by Bartlett is Andrei Chikatilo, really a Ukrainian. See more »


(at around 1h 40 mins) When Frank and Lucy are hidden behind the shelf from Patricia, a wire can be spotted on the back of her dress, as she run past the screen to the left. See more »


Cyrus: You know if I wanted to get shot at everyday, I'd move my black ass to Los Angeles!
See more »


References Fargo (1996) See more »


Don't Fear The Reaper
Written by Donald Roeser
Performed by The Mutton Birds
Courtesy of Virgin Records Australasia
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Surprisingly Dark
21 January 2005 | by (England) – See all my reviews

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.

107 of 124 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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I'm confused about Patricia + Johnny calia386
Sequel? korners
I think Jeffrey Combs is a great actor BUT sevenhillz
Was there a reason why Johnny and Patricia killed the people? mgrad784
agent dammers question chaosbaron
Imagine if you JUST turned your TV on, and you see ..... whitehorse88
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