7.1/10
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The Frighteners (1996)

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After a tragic car accident 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.

Director:

Peter Jackson
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2,596 ( 1,354)
1 win & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael J. Fox ... Frank Bannister
Trini Alvarado ... Dr. Lucy Lynskey
Peter Dobson ... Ray Lynskey
John Astin ... The Judge
Jeffrey Combs ... Milton Dammers
Dee Wallace ... Patricia Ann Bradley (as Dee Wallace-Stone)
Jake Busey ... Johnny Bartlett
Chi McBride ... Cyrus
Jim Fyfe ... Stuart, Bannister's Ghostly Assistant
Troy Evans ... Sheriff Walt Perry
Julianna McCarthy Julianna McCarthy ... Old Lady Bradley
R. Lee Ermey ... Sgt. Hiles
Elizabeth Hawthorne ... Magda Rees-Jones
Angela Bloomfield ... Debra Bannister
Desmond Kelly Desmond Kelly ... Harry Sinclair
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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:

Your number's up! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Fantasy | Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for terror/violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

New Zealand | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 July 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Robert Zemeckis Presents: The Frighteners See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,565,000, 21 July 1996, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$16,759,216

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$12,600,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

DTS | DTS-Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Weta Digital, Ltd., Peter Jackson's visual effects company, had to expand their capacity from one to thirty-five computers, in order to meet the visual effects demands for this movie. However, they had good use for them afterwards, as their next project was the special effects-heavy trilogy The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002), and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003). See more »

Goofs

When Ray hits the possessed doll with a pillow, the stand used to hold it up is clearly visible. See more »

Quotes

Patricia Ann Bradley: I'm in the mood for a little vivisection.
See more »

Alternate Versions

When learned during post-production that the MPAA was going to give the movie an R-rating (despite many efforts to go for a PG-13 rating), he made Milton Dammers' death scene more gruesome by blowing up his head, instead of just having him shot in the chest and blown through the chapel doors. This caused problems with the BBFC, who cut the one continuous shot into two shots, minus the bullet blowing up the head. This censored Region 2 DVD was released throughout Europe. The U.S. television version uses the take where Dammers is blown through the chapel doors. 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

 
Surprisingly Dark
21 January 2005 | by mjw2305See 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.


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