The Frighteners

July 19th, 1996


The Frighteners

No valid json found

Still of Peter Jackson in The Frighteners

After a car accident in which his wife, Debra, was killed and he was injured, Frank Bannister develops psychic abilities allowing him to see...

Release Year: 1996

Rating: 7.1/10 (37,777 voted)

Director: Peter Jackson

Stars: Michael J. Fox, Trini Alvarado, Peter Dobson

After a car accident in which his wife, Debra, was killed and he was injured, Frank Bannister develops psychic abilities allowing him to see, hear, and communicate with ghosts. After losing his wife, he then gave up his job as an architect, letting his unfinished "dream house" sit incomplete for years, and put these skills to use by befriending a few ghosts and getting them to haunt houses in the area to drum up work for his ghostbusting business; Then Frank proceeds to "exorcise" the houses for a fee. But when he discovers that an entity resembling the Grim Reaper is killing people, marking numbers on their forehead beforehand, Frank tries to help the people whom the Reaper is after!

Writers: Fran Walsh, Peter Jackson

Michael J. Fox - Frank Bannister
Trini Alvarado - Dr. Lucy Lynskey
Peter Dobson - Ray Lynskey
John Astin - The Judge
Jeffrey Combs - Milton Dammers
Dee Wallace - Patricia Ann Bradley (as Dee Wallace-Stone)
Jake Busey - Johnny Charles Bartlett
Chi McBride - Cyrus
Jim Fyfe - Stuart, Bannister's Ghostly Assistant
Troy Evans - Sheriff Walt Perry
Julianna McCarthy - Old Lady Bradley
R. Lee Ermey - Sgt. Hiles
Elizabeth Hawthorne - Magda Rees-Jones
Angela Bloomfield - Debra Bannister
Desmond Kelly - Harry Sinclair

Taglines: No Rest for the Wicked.

Release Date: 19 July 1996

Filming Locations: Camperdown Studios, Camperdown Road, Miramar, Wellington, New Zealand

Box Office Details

Budget: $30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $5,565,000 (USA) (21 July 1996) (1669 Screens)

Gross: $29,359,216 (Worldwide)

Technical Specs

Runtime:  | USA: (director's cut)

Did You Know?

During Ray Lynskey's funeral you can see Frank Bannister's house burning down in the background (not clearly, you can see a large orange blur directly behind Lucy). It was burned by the film crew because they had finished filming there.

Incorrectly regarded as goofs: Ray's ghost runs past a sign saying "Lyttelton Liquor." Lyttelton, New Zealand is playing fictitious Fairwater, California. We can say that within the movie, Lyttelton is the name of the store, not the town.

Frank Bannister: I thought guys like you rotted in Hell.
Johnny Charles Bartlett: I got out.

User Review

Surprisingly Dark

Rating: 8/10

What sets out to be a comedy movie with ghosts, (and anyone could be forgiven for thinking this is what it would be given that Michael J Fox has the lead) rapidly becomes a very dark supernatural thriller.

The special effects still look good even by todays standards, and the story is solidly written, good characters and good direction, there is not much to criticise in this movie.

The film itself is one that you should not miss, and certainly not because you think its something that it isn't.

8/10 A surprising film, that has probably been overlooked by too many movie lovers.


Comments are closed.