The Frighteners (1996)

The 26th Film I have seen in theaters…

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Michael J Fox stars in this film from Pre-LOTR Peter Jackson. Mind Blown.

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Frank can see ghosts. He uses this power to con people. He has his ghosts haunt a house and the gets the family to hire him to remove them. All is going well until he discovers a ghost appearing as the Grim Reaper. He is killing the living. Frank enlists the help of his ghosts in stopping the evil spirit and uncovering a decades old mystery. It’s funny, I swear!

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Growing up I loved Michael J Fox. He is a fantastic actor and this is probably what drew me to see the film. This is his last starring role in a film. He started “Spin City” shortly after this and was then diagnosed with Parkinson’s. He plays Frank.

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Trini Alvarado is Lucy, the wife of one of Frank’s targets for scamming. She gets drawn into the story after he husband is killed by the ghost.

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Peter Dobson is Ray, Lucy’s jerky husband. He dies. He apparently played Elvis in “Forrest Gump”

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The GREAT John Astin is “The Judge”, an old west ghost that works with Frank. He was my favorite ghost. As of this writing, Astin is alive and kicking at age 89. I wonder if he played a part in getting his son cast as Samwise in LOTR?

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Jeffrey Combs, a fantastic genre actor, plays Milton the crazy FBI agent who is after Frank. His death was something else in this.

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Dee Wallace Stone is Patricia, a woman who is revealed to be in league with the ghost! They were lovers before he died.

Jake Busey In 'The Frighteners'

Jake Busey is Johnny Bartlett. He was a serial killer in the 60’s who was executed. Patricial was his lover/accomplice. He’s been haunting/working with her to extend his kill count. He is our evil ghost. He’s another good actor, like his dad.

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Jim Fyfe and The GREAT Chi McBride play Stuart and Cyrus, two ghosts who work with Frank. These are our “main” ghost pals.

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R. Lee. F’n Ermey plays Holes, former drill instructor ghost. He is essentially the Gunnery Sarge from Full Metal Jacket. I miss this guy. He passed in 2018 at the age of 74.

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This was not a hit at the box office, but it should have been. This was the first real work for Weta, Peter Jackson’s special effects outfit. He would, only 5 years later, lead them to endless praise for their work on the Lord of Rings series. Jackson made a truly awesome movie here. It seems to have gotten a tad more love as the years have passed. This was probably due to LOTR.

 

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