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

19 August 2002 | MovieAddict2016
| Very entertaining with just the right blend of comedy and horror!
THE FRIGHTENERS has just the right blend of comedy and horror, and will please most audiences. Director Peter Jackson did a great job directing this film, and Michael J. Fox gives one of his most unusual performances as a "ghost buster" who has a rare gift that allows him to see the dead.

All in all, a unique film that is very different from its competition in the horror drama and really only falls apart towards the end, when it resorts to the typical slasher ending with plot twists. Apart from the end, it's sure to keep you entertained throughout!

4/5 stars


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Did You Know?


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. 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).


Dr. Lucy Lynskey: Boy that Dammers guy, he sure looks pissed.
Frank Bannister: Yeah.
Dr. Lucy Lynskey: Well sometimes Frank, you see when you go through a traumatic experience, it kind of alters your perception.


When Milton Dammers screams, "I'm wearing a lead breastplate!" and rips open his shirt, his tie is hanging nearly straight down. When we cut back to him, his tie is tossed over his shoulder, while both of his hands are still holding his shirt open.

Alternate Versions

The director's cut, until recently seen only on laserdisc, now also available on DVD, contains 14 minutes of additional footage; it includes additional screen time for Judge (John Astin), extra scenes at Frank's home with Stuart and Cyrus, two extra scenes at the jail featuring Stuart, Cyrus and Dammers and additional dialogue for Dammers as he recalls some of his horrific undercover assignments.


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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