Peter Jackson directs Michael J. Fox as a "ghost buster" who is in over his head in this special-effects-packed supernatural chiller that's so fiendishly entertaining, it's frightening!
© 1996 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.
- buy from $9.99
- rent from $2.99
Violent, frenzied, foul-mouthed ghost comedy.
what parents need to know
what families can talk about
Tomatometer®reviews counted: 18see all The Frighteners reviews
Top Critic Reviews
Fresh: An incredibly underrated scare-comedy from Peter Jackson that deserves a much wider audience.
- Blake Davis, KFOR Channel 4 News, Thursday, June 24, 2010
Rotten: Despite being awful in almost every respect, The Frighteners does offer one small pleasure: R. Lee Ermey parodying his Full Metal Jacket drill sergeant character.
- Chuck O'Leary, Fantastica Daily, Thursday, June 24, 2010
Paranormal investigator Michael J. Fox had an accident that enables him to communicate with the dead, a skill he had been using to fleece the recently bereaved until he crosses paths with a ghostly serial killer who frames him for murder. One of Peter Jackson's early forays into Hollywood, The Frighteners is a horror comedy that blends his sense of the macabre with slapstick sight gags and wish fulfillment and as a result feels like a rather uneven homage to Tim Burton, and Beetlejuice in particular. A lot of the content is actually rather grim but the cartoonish elements involving his ghostly sidekicks almost enters Roger Rabbit territory making the film seem very shizophrenic; its a bit too horrific in places for young children and too silly for adults making it fall a little too much between two stools. The casting of Fox adds to this and it all feels like an attempt to jump on the Ghostbusters bandwagon but Jackson's influence makes the tone miss the "family entertainment" mark somewhat; in fact if he hadn't been trying so hard to break the US mainstream I think it could've been a much better film. It still definitely has its moments, the final showdown with the serial killers being a highlight and fans of TV series Supernatural which was clearly influenced by it should give it a try.
- garyX, Wednesday, October 20, 2010