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The Frighteners [Blu-ray]
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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 the DVD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Well packaged and arrived before due date so was well chuffed. This is an old favourite of ours so at last got a superb copy. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mrs. V. Seymour
I don't do scary films. But I love this one.
This was an early Peter Jackson film, made in New Zealand, and on a budget. But it works. Read more
Always thought this was one of Michael J Fox's better movies and like more than the more famous roles he played. A bit of comedy and a bit of spooky adventure all rolled into one.Published 3 months ago by Jude Faulkner