The Frightening (2002) Poster

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4/10
The Frightening
Scarecrow-881 April 2011
Warning: Spoilers
The squeaky cleans at Hallows End High are dressing in black like burglars, popping up to murder the kids who don't "fit in", while the principal looks the other way considering the "outcasts" as not worth worrying about. Corey (Matthew Twining) is the "new kid" trying to adapt once again to his surroundings, finding himself in the middle of a strange situation involving two groups, Perry (Jack Carlisle) and his jock wrestling team, and Mason (James E Foley) and his misfits. Mason and his group dress colorfully (Corey compares their wardrobe to the Clash), standing out of a crowd, with attitudes to match, although they aren't unfriendly as much as rebellious. Anyway, Corey is being pulled in different directions as Mason and Perry both offer their hands in friendship, while he tries to remain "outside the loop" for his own sake. Corey is tormented by a recurring nightmare regarding an accidental neck-snapping during a wrestling match which claimed the life of a student involved. But there's more to this story than meets the eye. Yep, this is a David DeCoteau film so expect muscled pretty-boys with their shirts off. There's one lengthy "dream sequence" where Twining is walking throughout the school until he reaches the bowels of the basement in nothing but his underwear (I could just imagine DeCoteau getting all hot and bothered while shooting this scene). Almost all of the murders feature the victims spitting out globs of blood, even one instance where an electrocution victim (not before DeCoteau shoots him bathing off his bare chest in slow motion) in the gym shower coughs up red crimson. I have to hand it to DeCoteau, the end result of Corey's journey comes out of left field, although Perry pretty much spills the beans in depth about the school and his peeps and how nothing is as it seems, leaving nothing to the imagination. That said, I was still surprised so at least the movie has that going for it. DeCoteau uses the school basement extensively with three protracted scenes having victims walking throughout it for long periods. I mention the director's choice of preferred eye candy not to slight him—gay men and the ladies need some eye candy to gaze at, too—but just to warn those who tire of hunks in their skivvies (it's no shock that the school sport of choice is wrestling as it allows DeCoteau a chance to shoot his male cast in tight uniforms). Good to see Brittney Stevens in a nice little supporting part as Corey's concerned mother who wants her son to move past the incident which continues to haunt him. For a while this movie reminded me of DISTURBING BEHAVIOR (concerning the "too perfect" suburban boys in their khaki pants and sweaters, with an aura of sinister, and the tense rivalry with the disregarded class who have "alternative" lifestyles considered "out there" compared to most of the kids who go to school), but DeCoteau goes into a different direction towards the end until the story climaxes with poor Corey having to decide/choose a possible fate worse than death.
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5/10
Good Premise, Terrible Screenplay and Edition
claudio_carvalho10 December 2007
The eighteen years old Corey Peterson (Matt Twining) moves with his mother to a small town due a trauma in the past. On his first day at Hallows End High School, he is approached by the student also new arrival in town Mason (James Foley) that tells him about a death of a friend of him in the school and advises Corey to stay away from the wrestler Perry (Jack Carlisle III) and his gang. When two other students vanish, Corey decides to talk to Principal Rizcheck (Robert Donavan), who does not give any attention to him. Together with Mason, they investigate the secret about the school and disclose the dark truth about Hallows End and the missing students.

"The Frightening" has a good premise, but the screenplay and the edition are terrible. The story is flawed, but entertaining and watchable; however, the use of annoying noises and music score, and the successive cuts in many scenes are really irritating. My vote is five.

Title (Brazil): "Grito de Pavor" ("Fright Scream")
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4/10
Not the Worst David DeCouteau Film
gavin69427 October 2012
It is Corey Peterson's first day at Hallow End High School when he discovers that there is a rash of murders occurring on campus. It is a battle of jocks versus the geeks and Corey is forced to choose sides.

This film has a very abysmal rating on IMDb. Now, I do not want to be the one to defend it. I really, really do not want to be that guy. But clearly the people voting have not seen other David DeCouteau films. After recently watching his "Ring of Darkness", this one comes off as a masterpiece.

Fans are going to find the DeCouteau they know and love. Plenty of young men with smooth chests to see. Sometimes wrestling, sometimes showering and sometimes just being topless because it feels right. I watch and I wonder what the actors are thinking when they accept these roles. If they are gay actors, I understand. But if not, does it make them feel odd to know they are going to be presented on screen as male playthings? This might be a question for Jason Paul Collum...
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8/10
Decent flick
TobyS28 May 2002
DeCoteau, as usual, has cast a cute guy as the lead for his latest horror movie, The Frightening, and as usual, he has him in his boxer briefs within the first 10 minutes. Oh, it's good to know what you're getting into.

However, the last thing I expected from DeCoteau was a higher caliber film that ended up being pretty entertaining. Yes, the movie rips from everything from The Sixth Sense to Donnie Darko, but if you're going to rip off other films, you might as well pick good ones to take ideas from.

Corey (Matt Twining) has just moved to a new town with his mother to start a new life after a tragic accident left a teammate of Corey's dead. Enrolled into "Halloween High", he begins to notice that things aren't quite right. Be it that all the "social outcasts" start disappearing, or that the school itself has a dark past. He starts to question reality and the motives of all the students and faculty.

The Frightening isn't a bad movie. It moves along pretty good, was entertaining enough to keep my attention, and as with any DeCoteau film, is loaded with cute, buff boys to watch. However, unlike The Brotherhood (good film) or The Brotherhood 2: Young Warlocks (we won't go there), the homoerotic overtones are very much downplayed in The Frightening. Only once did it venture into traditional territory with a scene involving a group of young guys standing around in their boxers. DeCoteau also seems to have spent more time on this film. The majority of the actors are pretty good (especially Matt Twining), and the dialogue flows more smoothly than any of his past films.

The ending is a total rip-off, but in the defense of the filmmakers, I didn't see it coming, and thought it was pretty cool. On the downside, the murders were pretty cheesy. I'm glad that I'm not the only IMDBer to notice that no matter where you're stabbed or slashed, you will always bleed out of your mouth (with some pretty fake looking blood to boot). Although, I did like the one guy who had his face eaten off with acid.

I liked The Frightening. It wasn't a masterpiece, but compared to some of his other films, it's as close to being one as DeCoteau has gotten to so far.

My grade: B
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* out of 4
brandonsites198126 May 2002
A teenager haunted by visions of accidently killing someone during a wrestling tournament moves to a new town w/ his mother (Brinke Stevens) to get away from it all. At his now school though a series of murders have been occuring and it looks like he could be next.

What is frightening about this film is that it was made and got a pretty decent release into video stores. It totally lacks any character development, its gore and fright scenes are poorly excuted, and it seems like more of an excuse to show cute, well toned young men parade about in their boxer briefs then an actual movie. And by the way, the final twist is as lame as they get.

Rated R; Graphic Violence and Guys Running Around in Their Boxer Briefs
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3/10
Interesting horror flick with one major flaw
PeterBradford4 September 2007
Well written, well acted, well photographed, well directed but absolutely hideously edited horror film. Good editing should be invisible. It should never call attention to itself. The editing in THE FRIGHTENING makes the film unwatchable. There are these absolutely ridiculous and unnecessary flashes of white every two seconds. This makes watching THE FRIGHTENING about the same as experiencing Chinese water torture. What were they thinking? Brinke Stevens makes a nice cameo appearance, and the lead actor who plays her son is very good. I can't believe a director as accomplished as David DeCoteau would give his movie to an editor who made the film an unwatchable experience.
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3/10
There's nothing frightening about this rip-off of THE SIXTH SENSE.
capkronos9 July 2003
Warning: Spoilers
Corey (promising new star Matt Twining) moves to a new town for a fresh start after a tragic wrestling match leaves his opponent dead. He finds endless support from his curiously optimistic mom (Brinke Stevens), but is still torn between two peer groups at Hallow's End High. The 'freaks' (goth kids) and the 'stepford kids' (preps) are both intent on adding Corey to their ranks, but why is everyone acting so friendly and why are some of them running around campus killing people?

There's no nudity, but an absurd amount of time is spent focusing on the male physique as scantily clad "teen" boys wrestle, take slow-mo showers and walk down hallways in their underwear. Yes, like it or not, you've yet again entered into the fantasy world of DeCoteau and scripter Matthew Jason Walsh, where ones purity of soul is determined by whether they wear white or black boxer briefs.

It was filmed in Mexico and is dedicated to late cult directors Paul Leder and Paul Bartel.
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4/10
Derivative, but interesting, story done in by bad writing.
innocuous26 October 2010
This isn't as bad as some reviewers would have you believe, but it's still not good. The story is borrowed from half-a-dozen other movies, though there are a couple of decent plot points that are semi-original. The flaws are numerous: bad acting, bad slasher FX, and very bad script. The only one who impressed me was the main character's mother, who was suitably subtle in her role. The FX are just laughable, and whoever thought up the costumes for the killers was just not putting any effort into it. Of course, the actors were all burdened with lines that make it evident that the writer(s) put TOO much effort into them. (What 17-year-olds talk like that?) But even with these flaws, the story unrolls at a reasonable pace and the movie makes progress towards the final resolution in a determined and dogged fashion. The end itself makes you feel a bit cheated.

If you have nothing better to do on some late night, this is an acceptable slasher movie. But just barely.
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4/10
what a waste
KHayes6668 June 2005
Warning: Spoilers
As a former high school wrestler, a movie centered around a wrestling team would normally be good viewing....not in this case. This movie made me mad in ways other crappy movies didn't. Its a shame because i wanted to like this movie too.

The plot is (at the beginning anyway) a high school wrestler killed a kid during a match and is forced to relocate as part of therapy. He moves with his mother to a nowhere town where the popular kids are on the wrestling team (wish I went to this school) Strange things begin to happen and a group of weirdos dressed in black slaughter all the freaks and geeks around school. The plot thickens and the wrestler has to decide who to fight for, the freaks or the jocks.

This movie was a big let-down. I know it was a crappy B-movie but at least since it had some wrestling in it they should have at least had some action. I mean I was hoping at the end of the movie the main character would wrestle the captain of the wrestling team/murder squad for the right to live or something. Instead we get an axe to the back and a Sixth Sense ripoff ending.

Grrr....I could have written a better script 4 out of 10
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4/10
so-so
jeune1829 March 2005
the ending is decent but overall the movie is pretty bad. the acting is terrible except the lead guy is OK but mostly they are overacting. the cinematography is horrible during the scary scenes, it made me feel like i was going to have motion sickness and sometimes it looked like the editing was off. when they would cut from one character to the next, it did not line up right. and the gore is just too overdone, especially for how little slashing there is. i wasn't expecting much and that is basically what i got. i only watched it because i have a thing for scary movies but i definitely would not recommend it to someone and if someone asked me about it i would say watch it if you have nothing better to do.
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Total B Movie but visually seductive
ccressman26 July 2002
Although the plot looked like something a 13 year old might concoct with his buddies, there was a suprisingly erotic touch to this movie. From the leather clad boy in the opening sequence to the loving shots of Matt Twining's golden body one would think that this was designed for an avant-garde audience. If this were the intent, it would have been a nice touch to see the blonde girl bind Matt's wrists and ankles when she forced him to his knees in the dream sequence. The costume designed could have put her in a nice dominatrix outfit and she could have proceeded to give Matt a nice beating for having intruded on her little session with the underwear boys. Given the goofiness of the rest of the movie, replete with too-red blood and monotone lines, a little s&m in the basement would have made the movie far more watchable.
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A truly scarey movie indeed, but for all the wrong reasons
jamesbourke5019 March 2002
Sometimes its true what they say, you reap what you sow, so indeed you get what you hire.

The makers of this movie like so many they have produced in house truly have concoted a wholly uninspired movie, which by ten minutes or so by the end my jaw had dropped to the floor in complete disbelief.

You might be thinking, So much bitterness, but why? David Decouteau and his Rapid Heart Production company have done nothing but churn out in "Rapid Fire" fashion a glut of movies so bereft of any orignal thought or execution its a wonder they are still producing films.

The Opening of this movie reminded me of "The Karate Kid" widowed mother and her maladjusted teenage son move to a new town to start again....Do you know where i'm going with this.

As is director Decouteau's habit, he fills the screen with pretty young things, who do nothing, but hey it's the scriptwriter's job to give them something to do, however Matthew Jason Walsh, the purveyor of this film, gives them nothing but hot air, and we don't want to watch a hot air baloon trying to fly now do we?

As for the ending, why was my jaw so near the floor, Should i spoil, should you really hire this movie. In their wisdom, the filmmakers have borrowed the plot-line, sucker punch from "The Sixth Sense" The only highlight for me in this film was catching sight of Brinke Stevens playing the young lead's mother.

Even after all these years, she still oozes class and sophistication which alas is noth something that can be said for this sorry excuse.
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I didn't hate it!
BHorrorWriter4 April 2002
David Decoteau does it once again. He makes a movie, full of beautiful, well sculpted men in their underwear, but for some reason, he refuses to make a film with an original idea or plot.

I had really been anticipating this film's release. The trailer looked interesting enough, and I thought maybe Decoteau had finally gotten it right. However, borrowing too much from other genre films, we are offered nothing new or original, even for a B-movie. The script really seems to want to go in a decent direction, but in true Matthew Jason Walsh fashion, the ending is rushed and makes no sense and does not tie in to the rest of the film. However, you can't blame him, (though I have before). He is only a writer for hire, and for this film had many restrictions placed on him by the Distrbutor's and Producer's of this film. Oh, well...

Newcomer, Matt Twining really did one of the best jobs in this film. His acting is pretty solid and was executed well. Tanya Dempsey wasn't in this enough to really critique her performance. Most of the other players were just there and did nothing for the film. Brinke Stevens was really upstaged by Twining in the scenes they were in together. Still, she is Brinke, and that is all we need to care about!

As for the ending, which is really what most will hate and rip apart. I really liked the back story of the school and the student being dead since 1925. Though it was vastly underdeveloped...I would like to see the orignal script or a more bigger one from Mr. Walsh. He really had an excellent idea that was turned into a Sixth Sense rip-off!

The editing of the film is by far its saving grace. Danny Draven does a superb job making this look like a psychodelic nightmare though the past and though another world, without really doing it! If that makes sense... Quick flash cuts really helped move the eerie pace the film really wanted to have...but really didn't for lack of story!

Overall I give this film a decent rating. It was worth watching, and for die-hard fans. Alot less homoerotic than previous films by Decoteau, but still enough male flesh to make those it is intended for, quiver with glee!

6 out of 10
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A plead to never ever let any one you like watch this movie
stefisafox3 July 2003
I found this movie at a garage sale for $1. I took it home and watched it. I want my dollar back. Not only did I have to sit through what could possibly be the worst horror movie of all time, I, unlike others. found the men in this movie to be looks-wise in the same category as the dweeb in my freshman year of highschool that tossed spit balls at in class and still went around snapping girls' bras. Corny deaths of characters I enjoyed watching die. Carrie's mother taking to a photograph. A plotline that even Ed Wood would consider campy. A movie trying to banl off of the storylines of The Faculty and that other movie where the kids are under mind control and all go crazy. Take my advice...bring some ham to go with this cheese, and some fries for all the special effects ketchup.
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Disturbing Behavior meets Abercrombie and Fitch
ashley03200027 May 2002
This movie sucked so bad I had to finish it. The only reason I watched it all the way through was because of the hot guys in it. Other than that, where do I begin? FIRST, the acting was cringingly bad; the mother of the lead character takes the cake. Her voice and expressions stayed the same, no matter what she was saying. Second, the death scenes were hardly believable. FINALLY, the ending just left me ticked off; I didn't know the movie could get any worse than it was. All in all, here's a suggestion; if you want a plot about zombified school kids, rent Disturbing Behavior. If you just want to unashamedly stare at hot guys in nothing but undies, get an Abercrombie and Fitch catalog!!!
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1/10
Unthorough and a waste of time
divxpalace11 April 2002
The bad guys aren't scary, more like geeks! The killings are bad and to much ketchup were used! And the plot is lame and predictable. My son could have made a better movie in a school project.

DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME ON THIS FILM
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not as bad as some say but still not very good WARNING!!!!! MINOR SPOILER!
callanvass5 July 2004
Warning: Spoilers
not as bad as some say but still not very good at all it's completely watchable and is never boring but it has a laughable death scenes very bad dialog but has a good score and is very creepy but the characters are unlikable and there is no one to root for and it just seems as an excuse to show guys running around in there boxer briefs and u also have bland direction a so so twist ending there is a laughable serious moment where Corey visits the principal office and the principal does not buy it and yells at him and Corey totally over reacts also has some lame dream sequences and some scenes that are pure torture to sit through the guys that would be overall don't waste your time on this rubbish avoid * out of 5 a * star because of the creepy mood that sometimes hit me otherwise this would have gotten the BOMB rating i knew i shouldn't have rented this what a waste of time and money
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6/10
One of Decoteau's best
xindi0055 August 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I have to admit that I was impressed by this film. Though it did have the usual thin acting(something you usually get with fresh-faces) and shitty special effects, but its story, for a Decoteau film, had some rather deep layers.

Out of all of the actors in this film, the main star, Matt Twining, was very good. Besides for being visually stunning(a very attractive guy), his acting was the only one in this film that didn't feel forced or even wooden. He made you want to feel for his character, Cory. The ending was a very big surprise, for the most part. I did notice some similarities to THE SIXTH SENSE in the way it ended and had some of the subtle clues to the real reason for the school and the disappearances of the students throughout the film.

The staple mark of Decoteau where there is a thin hint to homo-eroticism was not as evident in this film. Don't get me wrong. There is nothing wrong in appreciating the male physique( and there were some very attractive physiques in here too), but it can be sort of redundant and obvious. This time, the male-body showcase fitted into the film.

I won't reveal anymore of the film, you'll just have to see it. Be certain to have an open mind and a very tolerate stomach for B movies. Though I have to say, this one could move to an A-movie very quickly.
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10/10
I liked it
matrix3220006 October 2005
I loved this movie a lot.The killings were all very unique and stylish.Trevor Harris is a friend of mine and lives right next door.That was until he moved out there lol.GREAT JOB GUYS! I liked the part where Trevor(Paul) is hiding from those assholes and he turns around and has a screw driver shoved through his mouth.It looked so real.The melting of the principals face was amazing.I want to know how you guys seriously did that one.It looked really neat.I also watched Leeches and Speed Demons.Very nice work.Although there are some parts in each one that you should have made a couple overlooks at.But all is fine.Tell Trevor I said Hello.Tyler Batcho....
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David rips off himself
wadeboi29 January 2005
When I popped this DVD in I wondered if I'd put David DeCoteau's earlier film "The Brotherhood" in by mistake. Here are those same guys in black stocking a pretty blonde boy. OK, the boys are different but the plot looks like a remake. That said, this is probably David's best effort to date. Beautifully shot, much more cinematic (not so dialoge heavy), nicely scored, a handsome cast and an improved script with a nice surprise ending, yet it still seems heavily padded and plodding. Our attention gets diffused across too many players. David needs to cut the size of his casts down about 2/3rds. Even big budget Hollywood films follow the convention of following one main character through virtually every scene. Several people have mentioned the black vs. white underwear; there is nothing remarkable about this. See Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho and observe Janet Leigh wears white underwear when she is a "good girl" and black when she turns "bad." The black hat/white hat cliché is as old as the cinema.
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7/10
Now it's easy to tell the good guys from bad
radeval10 April 2002
Another delightfully awful addition to DeCoteau's cheese board. His iconography is maturing; now the bad guys wear black underwear and the hero wears white. Who would have thought of this? Mat Twinning is a stunning new addition to his posse, and the actress who plays his mother does one of the most genuinely creepy/subtle performances I have seen in any movie, A, B, or C grade. I can't help it, these movies are just plain too much fun to not indulge! Someone should have a word with special effects. Red paint is even less convincing than ketchup. As always, suspend your critical faculties, relax, and enjoy.
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