The Frighteners 1996 R CC

Amazon Instant Video

(276) IMDb 7.2/10
Available in HD

A psychic private detective who consorts with deceased souls becomes engaged in a mystery as members of the town community begin dying mysteriously.

Starring:
Michael J. Fox, Trini Alvarado
Runtime:
1 hour 51 minutes

Available in HD on supported devices.

The Frighteners

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The Frighteners

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Product Details

Genres Comedy, Horror
Director Peter Jackson
Starring Michael J. Fox, Trini Alvarado
Supporting actors Peter Dobson, John Astin, Jeffrey Combs, Dee Wallace, Jake Busey, Chi McBride, Jim Fyfe, Troy Evans, Julianna McCarthy, R. Lee Ermey, Elizabeth Hawthorne, Angela Bloomfield, Desmond Kelly, Jonathan Blick, Todd Rippon, John Sumner, Michael Robinson, Jim McLarty
Studio Universal Studios
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

A fun movie with great special effects!
Kim
The DVD gives an excellent transfer of the film, both in sound and picture, but the only extras are written biographies and production notes.
R. Gawlitta
This is a great DVD edition of a very good movie, one that fans are sure to love.
FairiesWearBoots8272

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

104 of 108 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 9, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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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44 of 49 people found the following review helpful By N. Durham HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on September 13, 2004
Format: DVD
Practically bashed by critics everywhere when released in 1996, the Frighteners can be appreciated today as an underrated gem. After crafting a landmark gorefest with Dead Alive and scoring a hit among critics with Heavenly Creatures, future Lord of the Rings trilogy director Peter Jackson directed this wildly inventive and surprisingly innovative film starring Michael J. Fox as a psychic investigator who, with the help of three ghost pals, runs a phony ghost busting business. Soon enough, people are getting picked off by Death himself, and it's up to Fox to find out what's really going on. So much is going on in the Frighteners that it's easy for the film to become incoherent, but it's exciting visuals and special effects, along with the performance of Fox and the energetic direction of Jackson, make this film a surprise gem that should be (and very well may be) a cult classic. The rest of the cast includes R. Lee Ermy, Jake Busey, and genre stalwart Jeffrey "Re-Animator" Combs.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A. Thomas on December 15, 2005
Format: DVD
Originally, this film was supposed to have had a Halloween 1996 release date, but Universal, in its infinite wisdom, elected to shift the release date into the summer - probably because of the awesome special effects. Unfortunately, the summer of '96 was dominated by ID4 and its city-destroying effects, which left the ghosts of Peter Jackson's The Frighteners spinning in the dust. I didn't think much of the film then.

I remained aloof until one night two or three years ago; I was up late, just flipping through the channels, when I just happened to run across this film. I recognized it, and seeing as nothing else was on, decided to give it a chance. Needless to say, I enjoyed it. It had quirky humor blended with horrific dark elements; the blending is done in such a clever way that it never completely loses either element, yet the tension is ratcheted up by shifting from more humor in the beginning to more horror towards the end. The film really walks a fine line, and it does so beautifully.

Being so impressed, I had to have it on DVD, and within a few weeks of that late night viewing, I had the original DVD release. Happy as I was to have the film, I was somewhat dissappointed by the lack of special features and, knowing it was from Peter Jackson - the man behind LOTR and the bevy of supplemental materials those films had on their DVD releases - somewhat surprised. I figured it must have been due to the film's poor box office, and assumed a more comprehensive release was out of the question.

I am pleased to say I was wrong, and this new Director's Cut DVD edition is the answer to any desires I might have had for a better release. A full 14 minutes has been restored to the movie, there's a full-length commentary by Jackson, storyboards, a trailer...
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37 of 43 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 9, 2007
Format: HD DVD Verified Purchase
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.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

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