7.1/10
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222 user 121 critic

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.

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2,921 ( 281)
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:
... Frank Bannister
... Dr. Lucy Lynskey
... Ray Lynskey
... The Judge
... Milton Dammers
... Patricia Ann Bradley (as Dee Wallace-Stone)
... Johnny Bartlett
... Cyrus
... Stuart, Bannister's Ghostly Assistant
... Sheriff Walt Perry
Julianna McCarthy ... Old Lady Bradley
... Sgt. Hiles
... Magda Rees-Jones
... Debra Bannister
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:

No Rest for the Wicked. 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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Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

19 July 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Robert Zemeckis Presents: The Frighteners  »

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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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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 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

Ray Lynskey: Oh, I've got the shakes now. I need some vitamin B.
Frank Bannister: You can't take vitamins anymore. You don't eat. You don't drink. You don't go to the bathroom. All that shit's over with.
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Connections

Featured in Dee Wallace Speaks! (2017) 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

 
Surprisingly Dark
21 January 2005 | by See 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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