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The Frighteners (1996)

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.

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1 win & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Two girls have an intense fantasy life; their parents, concerned the fantasy is too intense, separate them, and the girls take revenge.

Director: Peter Jackson
Stars: Melanie Lynskey, Kate Winslet, Sarah Peirse
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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

Something has put the fear of death in the living and sent the dead running for their lives. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Fantasy | Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for terror/violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

19 July 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Robert Zemeckis Presents: The Frighteners  »

Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Was originally planned as a Tales from the Crypt (1989) feature, but producer Robert Zemeckis liked the script so much, he decided it should stand on its own and not be part of a series. See more »

Goofs

Bartlett refers to Ukrainian serial killer Andrei Chikatilo as "the Russian cannibal creep." See more »

Quotes

Ray Lynskey: Alright, Bannister. Can you at least give me a ride so I don't miss my funeral.
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Connections

Referenced in Edición Especial Coleccionista: Candy Candy (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Fear The Reaper
Written by Donald Roeser
Performed by The Mutton Birds
Courtesy of Virgin Records Australasia
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

"Death ain't no way to make a living."
15 January 2003 | by (Kentucky) – See all my reviews

The Frighteners is a textbook example of how to do a horror/comedy. Peter Jackson once again proves he can handle the genre masterfully. With Psychic Investigator Frank Bannister, Michael J. Fox adds another great character to his pantheon of heroes. The rest of the cast is top notch as well. Horror icon Dee Wallace Stone is great in this. John Astin is great in this. R. Lee Ermey is great in this. Even Jake Busey is great in this. Everyone is great in this. The actors and actresses do a wonderful job of handling the humor and the scares. But the actor that really shines here is genre veteran Jeffrey Combs. His portrayal of F.B.I. Special Agent Milton Dammers is one of his most memorable in long career of genre roles. Only the best went into this movie: Rick Baker was brought in to handle some of the visual effects and Danny Elfman composed the score. I don't know that it's my favorite, but this may be Jackson's best horror offering thus far in his career. That's a bold statement considering he's no stranger to horror.

Note for genre buffs: Peter Jackson cameos as the pierced passerby.


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