1996 Running time: 110 Certificate: 15 Rating: 4
the frighteners 1996 1S

Synopsis

Before setting foot in Middle-earth, director Peter Jackson mixed light and dark to great effect in this creepy horror comedy. Michael J Fox stars as a swindling psychic who falls under suspicion when the ghost of a dead serial killer continues his murderous spree from beyond the grave. B-movie trappings with A-list production values make it a hugely enjoyable balance of chills and chuckles.

Director

  • Peter Jackson

Cast

  • Michael J Fox

  • Trini Alvarado

  • Jeffrey Combs

  • John Astin

  • Jake Busey

  • Dee Wallace Stone

Review

This thunderingly paced comic horror proves that fright fans can still find original fare.

While psychic investigator Michael J Fox plies his trade with the help of friendly spooks that only he can see, something distinctly unfriendly is causing an epidemic of heart attacks among the good people of Fairwater - and most of the victims seem to be connected to Fox.

Meanwhile, Dr Lynskey (Trini Alvarado), whose slobbish husband is about to become victim 37, investigates a 'mad woman' (Dee Wallace Stone), whose ghoulishly grinning boyfriend (Jake Busey) murdered 12 people before going to the electric chair.

Fox sees visions of the 'soul collector', a cowled figure swooping over the town on some new victim, even as he himself comes under suspicion.

All these plot threads neatly tie together in a story that, in an unreal way, and with characters straight out of Twin Peaks, makes perfect sense.

Special effects are right on the mark, as walls, mirrors and ceilings bulge, the dead rise and ectoplasmic masses sweep away in search of escape.

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