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The Frighteners- Horror Movie Review- (Day 15 of 31)- October Massacre

The Frighteners- Horror Movie Review- (Day 15 of 31)- October Massacre
10.15.2014by: Mike Catalano
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9 10

PLOT: Thanks to a freak accident, Frank Bannister is able to “see dead people”. So of course, he uses this gift to run a paranormal investigator service that actually scams people because he actually is in cahoots with the ghosts! However, things get hairy when people begin dying of strange, yet seemingly natural causes within his town. Certain that Death himself has descended upon his community, Frank tries to put things right, but ends up becoming the main suspect!

REVIEW: By now, I hope you all know that the great Peter Jackson (yes, Lord of the Rings Peter Jackson) wrote and directed this flick. If you are into great comedy mixing in with your scary movie screams, then prepare for one fun ride with The Frighteners. Jackson’s typical eye for breathtaking visuals and sly humor are evident throughout the running time. It also helps that he’s got Michael J. Fox as his lead because the man is just a natural in front of the camera and delivers a fantastic performance. You’ll also find some great turns by Dee Wallace Stone, John Astin, Chi McBride, and Trini Alvarado. And I’d be remiss not to mention the tour de force in weird given by genre thespian Jeffrey Combs. He is a f*cking riot!

Since this is coming from master craftsman, Peter Jackson, The Frighteners is equipped with a tight little story that rings truer with each subsequent viewing. The first time I saw it, I remember thinking it started off kind of slow, but that was only to set up the characters and situations, which then leads to one hell of a fun second half. The mystery behind the killings in the town and the manner with which Bannister and his team attempt to resolve it has the vibe of vintage horror and it really works so well. Plus, the entire movie is engulfed in another fantastically creepy score by Danny Elfman. This is top notch entertainment and ideal viewing for a dark evening in October.

BEST TNA SCENE: Although Trini Alvarado is quite cute, nudity is not on The Frighteners agenda. Boo.

BEST GORE BIT: Surprisingly, the gore level isn’t very high here. The R rating almost isn’t necessary. But I suppose a fast gunshot blast to someone’s head takes the gore cake.

HALLOWEEN DRINKING GAME: Take a shot or drink every time:

Jeffrey Combs freaks out.

Michael J. Fox talks to a ghost.

R. Lee Ermey yells.


GET THE BLU RAY HERE!

READ ALL OF OUR OCTOBER MASSACRE REVIEWS HERE!

Extra Tidbit: Peter Jackson set up a huge F/X studio to work on The Frighteners. When the movie was finished, he had all this great F/X technology just sitting around. That is was inspired him to begin setting up his Lord of the Rings films.

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6:24PM on 10/15/2014

Another great entry!

With this and Monster Squad yesterday, I will be sure to keep following this column for the rest of the month! This is such a great flick with a FANTASTIC cast. I have very vivid images of watching this on t.v. as a kid, and even an edited version with commercials scared the crap out of me. Even the end-into-credits song is perfect. Combs is the man and I would love to see amazing Mr. J. Fox do more the genre!
With this and Monster Squad yesterday, I will be sure to keep following this column for the rest of the month! This is such a great flick with a FANTASTIC cast. I have very vivid images of watching this on t.v. as a kid, and even an edited version with commercials scared the crap out of me. Even the end-into-credits song is perfect. Combs is the man and I would love to see amazing Mr. J. Fox do more the genre!
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2:57PM on 10/15/2014

I remember this getting some dismal reviews when it first hit theatres

I bet a few movie reviewers are munching tasty crow right about now. It's easy to forget how good Michael J. Fox was as a comedy actor/leading man.
I bet a few movie reviewers are munching tasty crow right about now. It's easy to forget how good Michael J. Fox was as a comedy actor/leading man.
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12:28PM on 10/15/2014

Yeah, this is one of my favorites!

Forget Halloween, this is great any time of the year. The really surprising thing is Fox's performance, which really is deep for the genre. You really feel his sense of loss and what it's turned him into.
Forget Halloween, this is great any time of the year. The really surprising thing is Fox's performance, which really is deep for the genre. You really feel his sense of loss and what it's turned him into.
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8:49AM on 10/15/2014
A really good movie that mixes horror and comedy really well. Even today the special effects still hold up. Too bad it's a bit underrated.
A really good movie that mixes horror and comedy really well. Even today the special effects still hold up. Too bad it's a bit underrated.
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