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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.

Director:

Peter Jackson
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Popularity
2,990 ( 137)
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:

Death is no way to make a living! 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 »

Filming Locations:

Oklahoma, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,565,495, 21 July 1996

Gross USA:

$16,759,216

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$29,359,216
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:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Chi McBride's line "Nice shootin' Tex!" during the scene in the museum is a reference to Ghostbusters (1984), in which Bill Murray delivers the same line. See more »

Goofs

When Frank is having breakfast talking to his ghost buddies early in the film, the background (Lyttelton, New Zealand) shows the location at sunset, not sunrise. 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 »

Alternate Versions

The Theatrical Trailer features some cut scenes. They include a scene in which Frank is visited in Jail by Stuart and Cyrus, they inform Frank that the police are going to try and pin the murders on him. Another scene takes place in Frank's house right after they scam Ray and Lucy, in which Stuart tells Cyrus that Frank takes them totally for granted and that they are his business partners. There is also a snipet of Frank jumping out from behind a giant rock looking terrified. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Haunted Mansion (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

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 »

User Reviews

 
Indulgent But Impressive
11 August 2013 | by LeonLouisRicciSee all my reviews

This one has received mixed Reviews. It's hard to imagine that anyone could be critical of the imagination that went into this entertaining, if overblown, Movie. It has enough energy and creativity for three Films. But it doesn't know when to quit. It just goes on and on, almost, but not quite, draining the fresh flourishes from the Film.

There are Artistic touches that impress and it looks very much like the Cartoony Movies that Jackson had made up to this point. But this may have suffered from too much Zemeckis and too much Money. The Director never needed a lot of Money to make Cool, Off-Beat, and Artistically rewarding Stuff.

Just one example, in the opening Scene we see an Evil Entity haunting a Women and it is shown protruding from behind walls and carpets. It is different and diabolical. But it won't be the last time this effect is used. Suffice to say that repetition is the bane of this really good Film.

There are Plots on top of Plots and not just in the Cemetery. It could be just a bit too much for some, and yet it is so charming that others may say, give me more.


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