The Frighteners movie review

The Frighteners movie credits:

Directed by: Peter Jackson

Written by: Fran Walsh and Peter Jackson

Michael J. Fox (Frank Bannister)
Trini Alvarado (Dr. Lucy Lynskey)
Peter Dobson (Ray Lynskey)
John Astin (The Judge)

Release date: 1996

Spoiler alert: some crucial elements of the movie are commented in the following review. Be warned!

My bloody rating:

The Frighteners movie review

The Frighteners movie review:

Peter Jackson is a man filled with many contradictions! The guy responsible for the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy is also capable of creating the most amazing horror movie (Dead Alive), the sickest puppet show (Meet the Feebles), the most beautiful film about a teenage girl’s fantasy (Heavenly Creatures) and the most visual remake ever (King Kong).

The Frighteners The Frighteners

After releasing “Heavenly Creatures” and before his long journey throughout the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, Peter Jackson created with his wife Fran Walsh a cool little comedy starring Michael J. Fox called “The Frighteners”.

Frank Bannister is an ex-architect who has developed psychic abilities allowing him to see, hear, and talk with ghosts and entities after his wife died in a car accident. Using this special gift, he now exorcises numerous houses filled with ghost friends in exchange of a fee.

When a new spirit in the form of the Grim Reaper is terrorizing the city and taking lives one after another, he decides to quit is day job as a con-man in order to help save the living (and the dead) from this new menace.

This film is not a hardcore horror movie filled with blood and gory scenes (well, it does feature Micheal J. Fox, so I guess you already knew that! ;). Instead, it’s a nice thriller with a touch of comedy, some nice creepy scenes and a very fun plot.

Although the story is not 100% perfect or original, it does feature some good ideas and a few efficient twists to satisfy most of the viewers (like the ability for the main character to see who is going to die because the next victim is labelled with a number on the forehead!).

The music and the photography are excellent too, but it’s the scenes involving the Grim Reaper that are making this movie interesting for a real horror fan. The special effects are not always top-notch (we are in 1996, three years only after Jurassic Park’s computer revolution) but when the Grim Reaper is involved, I must admit that even today, some scenes are quite spectacular!

Even if Michael J. Fox might seem like a strange choice for such a movie, he does make an excellent job of creating a character not too similar to “Marty McFly” from the “Back to the Future” trilogy, but serious enough to be credible when needed!

The rest of the cast is also great with some nice performances by Dee Wallace, Chi McBride and Jake Busey.

The Frighteners is the perfect horror comedy mixing some effective scenes involving the Grim Reaper with a good performance by Michael J. Fox!

The Frighteners movie review written by: Martin Berube