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Hangman's Curse (2004)

David Keith , Mel Harris , Rafal Zielinski  |  PG-13 |  DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: David Keith, Mel Harris, Leighton Meester, Douglas Smith, Jake Richardson
  • Directors: Rafal Zielinski
  • Writers: Frank Peretti, Kathy Mackel, Stan Foster
  • Producers: Bobby Neutz, Frank Peretti, Jerry Rose, Joe Goodman
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Fox Searchlight
  • DVD Release Date: March 30, 2004
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00018D41S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,521 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Hangman's Curse" on IMDb

Special Features

  • "Frank Peretti: From Page to Screen" featurette
  • "The Spider Wrangler: The Spiders of Hangman's Curse"

Editorial Reviews

Within the shadowed corridors of Rogers High School, something terrible has been unleashed. As fear escalates, a family of investigators goes undercover only to discover you cannot destroy what you cannot find. As students are claimed by a deadly power, Nate and Sarah Springfield (David Keith and Mel Harris) and their two teenage children race to protect the student body from the mysterious forces around them?and from their own prejudices.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's a start April 13, 2004
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
As a fan of Frank Peretti's novels, the idea of one finally becoming a movie thrilled me. While I found "Hangman's Curse" a good book, it wouldn't have been my choice for a first movie. Still, they manage to adapt it reasonably well. It's a little slow-paced in parts, and yes, some of the acting is a little off, but it has its redeeming points. It's a family film that should keep the interest of teens and kids (though the adults will probably find themselves going to the kitchen for popcorn quite often).
The Christian message isn't overt. As a matter of fact, this couldn't really be considered a "Christian movie". Yes, one of the main characters prays during a crisis, but that's what most Christians do. There is no "Romans Road to Christ" laid out in the film, and it shouldn't offend anyone who's not a Christian. The special effects are good, especially for the budget they had to work with.
All in all, this is a movie I'm glad I watched, but I doubt I watch it again any time soon. I look forward to another Frank Peretti film in the future, but I hope it's "The Oath" or "This Present Darkness", either of which would be incredible. Don't judge Frank's works by this movie. Read his books instead.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Entertaining Compromise December 23, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
"Hangman's Curse" is an adaptation of a book by a "Christian" author (Frank Peretti), published by a "Christian" publisher, and promoted by "Christian" bookstores. But the religious aspects of the book are soft peddled in favor of elements intended to make it appeal to a wider audience interested in a traditional mild horror film. There is an obvious agenda but it does not overwhelm the story; mostly they wanted to present a positive message for Christian kids in an uncharacteristically "cool" package and to show that being Christian does not mean a kid has to be a total dork.

The agenda does have a dark side, a simplistic message that being different and asserting your individuality is a misguided response to facing life's challenges without the assist of inner spirituality. Some may view the film's ending message as anti-diversity, although it positively portrays interracial dating it ends with a conformist message. But this is inserted in such a clumsy and contrived way that few will feel any threat of manipulation.

The compromises they made to mainstream this film have offended both extremist "Christians" and hard core horror film fans, which is not exactly a surprise. Extremist "Christians" are upset because the "Christians" in the film seem to be just like "regular" (their word-not mine) people. There has also been some objection to the wardrobe of Leighton Meesier (the actress who poses as a student to investigate the situation) although it looked pretty wholesome to me; Meesier's actual sin is just being radiantly beautiful. If your own faith does not run toward elitist religious egoism you will find almost nothing objectionable. Hard-core horror fans will find this fairly tame although the premise is clever and there are some nice suspenseful moments.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good! October 18, 2005
Format:DVD
I decided to watch "The Hangman's Curse" for several reasons. The most important of these factors, indeed the only one that really matters, involves the fact that David Keith heads up the cast list. I enjoy this actor's work, although I must say his standards have slipped over the past few years. Let's face it: going from films like "An Officer and a Gentleman" to "Sabretooth" and "Deep Shock" represents a horrific reversal of fortune on par with the dive into obscurity made by another talented actor named Joseph Cotten. Remember him? He's the chap who starred in such cinematic classics as "The Third Man" and "Citizen Kane" early in his career only to move on to such turgid schlock like "Guyana: Crime of the Century" and "Lady Frankenstein" towards the end of his life. While those of us who enjoy cheesy cinema might relish seeing the likes of mainstream actors like Keith and Cotten hamming it up in pictures far below their abilities, we must admit it's probably painful for them. Anyway, I figured "The Hangman's Curse" as another disappointing Keith project. I was wrong. The movie, while far from high art, does manage to entertain most of the time.

Keith plays Nate Springfield, husband of Sarah (Mel Harris) and father of daughter Elisha (Leighton Meester) and son Elijah (Douglas Smith). Together this family forms some sort of detective type agency that wanders around the country solving crimes. Actually, they work for some shadowy organization called the Veritas Project. Really. I'm not making this up. Their latest case brings them to a typical high school in Middle America where a series of gruesome crimes plague the student body.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It 's a great movie! April 14, 2004
Format:DVD
I've read both of Frank Peretti's books in this series and loved them. I was so excited when I heard from one of my friends that they were making a movie out of it. The movie follows the book very closly though there were a couple of changes to make the movie more interesting.
It wasn't extremely scary except for the part with the spiders(I hate spiders:)
Both me and my sister enjoyed this movie alot. We were pleasantly surprised to find that Frank Peretti was in the movie too, playing the part of Professor Algernon Wheeling.
I hope that they make the sequel,Nightmare Academy, into a movie next.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Lacked some of the best qualities of the book
I After reading the book, I was hoping that I could show this to my youth group. However, between the love story, and the slightly immodest clothing, I was disappointed to find... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Redbird
5.0 out of 5 stars This Movie is Awesome!
I love this movie! It's so intriguing and griping and keeps you on the edge of your seat! It's a very good representation of Frank E. Peretti's book! Read more
Published 7 months ago by Lauren Brackett
5.0 out of 5 stars Hangmans curse
A okay film I like it because William r. Moses is in it all the actors do a fine jobin it
Published 7 months ago by rosemary thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for Middle Schoolers and Beyond
I found this movie in middle school and fell in love with it (I just graduated from college and am watching it right now haha). Read more
Published 15 months ago by Young Teacher
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't judge the movie
As we all know a book is 99 percent better than the movie.It's either some if not most scenes are changed or left out.The actors were not what I imagined them to be. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome movie!
This movie is a great teenage story with elements of horror and mystery in it. The teenage spy part was kind of cheesy, but even with that, it's still a great movie!
Published 17 months ago by K. Baker
5.0 out of 5 stars Very fast!
The item arrived on exactly the day I needed it for school. It was perfect timing! The DVD case did have some writings in marker on it that wasn't in the description, but it didn't... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Cassidy Porter
3.0 out of 5 stars Hangman's Curse
I bought this movie because my daughter saw it around Halloween time with her youth group at church. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Cindy Davis
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad.
I gave this movie a 3 comparing it to secular films. Would probably bump it up to a 4 if compared to Christian films. My kids age 13 and 15 enjoyed it (enough). Read more
Published 21 months ago by J. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Action, Action, and more action!!!!
I was very surprised with how well this movie is made!! Has great actors and a fantastic plot. The outcome had me completely fooled. I great purchase and watch it many times. Read more
Published on November 12, 2011 by G. Williams
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