The Frighteners (1996)

R   |    |  Comedy, Fantasy, Horror

The Frighteners (1996) Poster

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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  • Jake Busey in The Frighteners (1996)
  • Michael J. Fox and Peter Jackson in The Frighteners (1996)
  • The Frighteners (1996)
  • Michael J. Fox and Trini Alvarado in The Frighteners (1996)
  • Michael J. Fox in The Frighteners (1996)
  • Jeffrey Combs in The Frighteners (1996)

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Cast & Crew

Top Billed Cast


Peter Jackson


Fran Walsh, Peter Jackson

Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

11 August 2013 | LeonLouisRicci
| Indulgent But Impressive
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.

Metacritic Reviews

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Did You Know?


The shooting script originally included another character at the cemetery called the Gatekeeper, a big chubby angel who would be acting as the cemetery's guardian. A large Gatekeeper prop was created, and some scenes with him were filmed. However, these were omitted from the film, as Peter Jackson couldn't really find a good explanation for the angel's presence. Most of its role was taken over by the Sergeant Hiles character (R. Lee Ermey).


Frank Bannister: Catch you later, Hiles.
Sergeant Hiles: Hey, my tour of duty runs another 85 years! There's a piece of dirt up here with your name on it, Bannister! I'm waiting for you, you little maggot!


When Frank goes to talk with the news paper editor the news paper has a picture of Lucy at Rays funeral,which has not happened jet.

Alternate Versions

UK cinema, VHS and initial DVD versions were cut by the BBFC for a '15' certification. The bloody shot of Patricia's mother lying on a bed was slightly shortened, and Agent Milton getting his head blown off is spliced into two separate shots with a quick, rearranged insert of Frank falling backwards to tone down the gore-factor - in the US version, Milton's head is blown off in one bloody shot. These scenes were reinstated in the Director's Cut, which also has a '15' certification, after the BBFC finally waived the cuts.


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


Plot Summary

Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Comedy | Fantasy | Horror

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