The Frighteners

The Frighteners

The Frighteners

Peter Jackson blends horror, comedy and fantasy in this film about a psychic (Michael J. Fox) who initially works with spirits to con money out of customers but then becomes a legitimate paranormal investigator when the spirit of a mass murderer begins attacking both the living and the dead.

Shot in Wellington, this is Jackson's first Hollywood-funded film, backed by Universal Studios and producer Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future).

1996Rating: M, contains violence110 minsNew Zealand, USA
ComedyFantasyHorrorThriller
Director:
Peter Jackson ('The Lovely Bones', 'King Kong', 'The Lord of the Rings', 'Heavenly Creatures', 'Braindead', 'Meet the Feebles', 'Bad Taste')
Writer:
Fran WalshPeter Jackson
Cast:
Michael J. FoxTrini AlvaradoPeter DobsonJohn AstinJeffrey CombsDee WallaceJake BuseyChi McBrideJim FyfeTroy EvansJulianna McCarthyR. Lee ErmeyElizabeth HawthorneAngela Bloomfield

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The Frighteners / Reviews

San Francisco Chronicle

San Francisco Chronicle

Shrill, overproduced and crammed with clever visual effects...

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Entertainment Weekly

Entertainment Weekly

That rare horror film that actually gets better as it proceeds; this scare machine has a heart and a brain.

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BBC

BBC

The increasingly eerie shenanigans play heavily on the nervous system.

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Time Out

Time Out

At times the relentless special effects and tangled plotting veer towards visual and narrative overkill, but the final tonal swerve is shocking and effective.

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Variety

Variety

A two-tone scarefest, the first half a facetious, aggressively jokey send-up of the supernatural, the second an attempt at some legitimate thrills. After his brilliant breakthrough two years ago with "Heavenly Creatures," new pic reps a step back into infinitely less interesting genre work for New Zealand auteur Peter Jackson, with an added reliance on elaborate, almost continuous special effects.

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Total Film

Total Film

Thrills, sight gags and tasteless one-liners abound as Michael J Fox, Trini Alvarado and assorted spectral allies take on an evil spirit... Go see it - it's great.

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The New York Times

The New York Times

As directed by Peter Jackson, whose "Heavenly Creatures" looks sedate by comparison, it's a technically impressive horror-comedy-romance in desperate need of a story editor or a cold shower.

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Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

Last year, I reviewed a nine-hour documentary about the lives of Mongolian yak herdsmen, and I would rather see it again than sit through ``The Frighteners.''

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Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

Director Peter Jackson, at home with all kinds of excess in New Zealand, keeps everything spinning nicely, not even losing a step when the mood turns increasingly disturbing.

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Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

Huge ghostly fun, and a fine achievement from the early days of CGI.

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