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The Frighteners [Blu-ray]

122 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Michael J. Fox
  • Directors: Peter Jackson
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Audio Description: None
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Universal Pictures UK
  • DVD Release Date: 10 Oct. 2011
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,810 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Comedy horror from New Zealand director Peter Jackson. Frank Bannister (Michael J. Fox) is a psychic investigator in the town of Fairwater, aided by three friendly ghosts who create supernatural disturbances for him to 'solve'. However, when Frank begins to see numbers carved into the foreheads of people who subsequently die as a result of a bizarre heart failure, he realizes that an evil spirit is causing the deaths. As the last person to be seen near the victims Frank is suspected by eccentric Federal agent Milton Dammers (Jeffrey Combs) of being in some way responsible - especially when it is revealed that Frank's own wife died some years previously in mysterious circumstances.


This special effects-laden horror comedy from Lord Of The Rings director Peter Jackson faired badly at the box office upon release, which is rather surprising given that it has so much to offer. Michael J Fox plays a psychic investigator who can actually see ghosts, and lives with a trio of spirits who scare people to promote Fox's ghost-busting business. In a town infamous for serial killings, a new series of deaths prompts Fox to induce his own out-of-body experience so he can battle death in a spirit-plagued netherworld where evil reigns supreme--or something like that. So much happens in this chaotic film that you might feel like you're watching several movies at once--a slasher pic, a supernatural thriller, and a black comedy all rolled into one non-stop showcase for grisly makeup and a dozen varieties of special effects. The Frighteners is an odd but wildly inventive film, one that doesn't set the world alight but is nonetheless worth a look. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 1 Jan. 2006
Format: DVD
Just before doing "Lord of the Rings," director Peter Jackson (who can be seen in a cameo as "Man with Piercings") made an off-kilter horror/comedy movie called "The Frighteners," the tale of the undead and the guy who makes a living off of them. Though "Frighteners" was barely in theaters at all, this cult flick is funny, creepy, well-acted and wonderfully directed.

Frank Bannister (Michael J. Fox) has seen spirits and apparitions ever since the car crash that killed his wife. Now he operates an amateur "ghostbusting" operation that is supposed to exorcise ghosts from people's houses -- the problem is that the ghosts who haunt those houses are in league with him (Chi McBride as the opinioated afro-ed Cyrus, Jim Fyfe as the nerdy Stuart, and most of John Astin as what is left of The Judge).

Frank's business certainly isn't hurt by the fact that for years after a serial killer's murderous spree, people have died mysteriously of heart attacks. Then Frank starts seeing fiery numbers emblazoned on the foreheads of people who will die, including the husband of doctor Lucy Lynskey (Trini Alvarado). As if trying to stop a specter of death weren't hard enough, crazed FBI agent Milton Dammers (Jeffrey Combs) believes that Frank is the one murdering people. But the evil specter is still killing -- and Lucy is the next victim.

Peter Jackson once said that he has a "moronic" sense of humor, and it shows up in all its glory here -- from bug spray dissolving a ghost's face to a piece of talking oily sludge to a drill sargeant ghost with submachine guns, this is weird and absolutely hilarious. It's the perfect blend of comedy and horror.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Cb1306 on 28 Oct. 2011
Format: Blu-ray
I remember seeing this at the cinema as consolation for the fact that the film we wanted to see had sold out. Turned out to be one of my favourite films.
Directed by Peter Jackson between his low budget slasher pics (Bad Taste & Braindead) and his big budget adventures with Frodo & co what starts out as a kooky comedy turns into a horror without missing a beat.
A great cast, beautiful locations & some good (but dated) CGI make this one of the most enjoyable & under-rated films ever.
The Blu Ray picture and sound is an improvement on the DVD and also includes the theatrical (109mins) & directors cut (122mins), an introduction by Peter Jackson (which I believe was made for the 10th Anniversary dvd edition), The Making of (an immense 3hrs 45mins in total), which includes everything you'll ever need to know about this film and its production.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Gryph on 22 Dec. 2002
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
You would never guess by watching this film that it was a bit of a flop at the box office. It has a big star name, bundles of laughs, state of the art special effects, and Peter Jackson at the realm as director, a name who is currently synonymous with raking in megabucks at the big screen. More than that though, this is essentially a great film. Original in its humour, and with a great storyline, this is a film that works as a feelgood movie and a horror flick at the same time, similar in vein therefore to Jacksons previous movies such as Braindead, or Sam Raimis Evil Dead trilogy.
This is one title that it is difficult not to commend highly to anyone from any background. It has something in it for everyone and really deserves much more recognition and praise than it has so far received.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 Dec. 2005
Format: DVD
An early undiscovered gem from the writing team that later brought the world The Lord Of The Rings and King Kong.
Peter Jackson(along with Fran Walsh) created this great horror- comedy-thriller almost ten years ago before they became known worldwide and in it they tell the story of Frank Bannister as played by Michael J. Fox who is a small-town "ghost-buster" in league with the very spirits he is supposeed to be exorcising.
This scam works well until a dangerous and powerful spirit goes on a murderous rampage thus forcing Frank to stop him in any way neccesary.
This director's cut DVD is also packed with an introduction by Jackson along with an audio commentary originally recorderd for the Laserdisc and also has an extensive making-of documentary which is over 4 hours!
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Neal Vincent VINE VOICE on 11 Jan. 2006
Format: DVD
I'd just about given up on this ever getting released on DVD! When the first Lord of the Rings film cleaned up at the box-office and director Peter Jackson became a household name I was convinced that the Director's Cut of The Frighteners was a dead cert for a DVD release. 5 more years later, and the entire LOTR trilogy out on DVD twice over, there was still no sign ... and I'd lost faith. But here it is, finally! Better late than never, Universal!
Let's get to the good stuff... Most important of all as far as I was concerned, the UK release is NOT CUT this time around! When I saw The Frighteners in the cinema, one bit in particular made everybody in the place sit up and go "Whoa!" So imagine my disgust when the UK home release of the theatrical version turned out to have emasculated this very sequence by inserting a spurious shot of M J Fox falling, right in the middle of the shot, splitting it into two and virtually completely removing the exploding head. If the idea was to "lessen the intensity" of the sequence, then it worked. Sadly I thought I'd bought the same intense film I'd seen at the cinema! Needless to say, I got shot of my UK version and got the uncut US version instead. Happily, the UK DVD release of the Director's Cut contains the sequence uncut and is identical to the US version.
In fact this UK release - in a rare reversal of the norm - is actually superior to the US release for a couple of reasons. The UK version offers DD5.1 and DTS5.1 soundtracks in addition to the director commentary, whereas the US version doesn't have DTS.
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