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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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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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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Trini Alvarado sustained so many bruises working on the film, receiving new ones almost every day, that the make up department would take pictures for future reference. See more »

Goofs

Director Peter Jackson makes his cameo appearance as the pierced punk, and then disappears between shots. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Lucy Lynskey: Tell me, why is it that you can see Ray and I can't?
Frank Bannister: I was in an accident. A car accident... about five years ago .I don't know they say that sometimes when you have a traumatic experience that it can alter your perception.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Flash: Flash Back (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Superstar
Written by Bonnie Bramlett, Leon Russell
Performed by Sonic Youth
Courtesy of DCG Records
By Arrangement with MCA Special Markets and Products
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Expertly Crafter
27 December 1998 | by (Meols, England) – See all my reviews

The Frighteners is an excellent horror-comedy-drama in which Michael J. Fox plays ex-architect and now psychic scamster Frank Bannister. The film revolves around the premise that Frank, after being involved in an accident which resulted in the death of his wife, can now see disembodied spirits and runs a scam in which the ghouls haunt houses under the order of Frank and then he 'exorcises' them for a fee. However, a series of murders begin in Frank's town and it becomes achingly clear that these murders have something to do with his wife's death. The romantic involvement comes in the form of Trini Alvarado (Little Women) who plays a doctor who's husband was killed by the evil forces at work. This film achieves many things, it manages to create a comic atmosphere at times whilst being able to make us feel real sympathy for the character of Frank and his tragic circumstances. This is a truly under-rated film and it is well worth watching.


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