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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.

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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:

When your number's up, its up. 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:

Country:

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Language:

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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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Chi McBride agreed to be in The Frighteners, after seeing Peter Jackson's Heavenly Creatures (1994). See more »

Goofs

Ray's ghost runs past a sign saying "Lyttelton Liquor." Lyttelton, New Zealand is playing fictitious Fairwater, California. We can say that within the movie, Lyttelton is the name of the store, not the town. See more »

Quotes

Judge: Give it up, Frank! Death ain't no way to make a living!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Forget About It: Back to the Future (2011) 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

 
Fun and frenetic
5 September 2013 | by (Stephens County, OK) – See all my reviews

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.


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