The M.O.W.'s Movie Review of The Frighteners

Rating of

The Frighteners

Not very frightening, cant believe this is Rated R
The M.O.W. - wrote on 08/03/08

In 1990, "Frank Bannister" (Michael J. Fox) and his wife (Angela Bloomfield) are in a horrific car accident which takes her life. "Frank" is found dazed miles away, and unable to recall what happened. He also couldn't account for a missing pocket knife that was inside the trunk, or why the number 13 was carved into his wife's forehead.

A few years later, "Frank" becomes a paranormal con artist, who gets help from three ghosts: the nerdy "Stuart" (Jim Fyfe), a 1970's African-American (Chi McBride) and an Old West lawman (John Astin). The three ghosts cause hauntings for "Frank" to investigate, when in reality, he is just trying to make a buck. And the funniest part, the ghosts leave "Frank's" business card for people to find to call him.

To anybody who is paying attention, it is obvious that "Frank" is a fraud. However, when bodies begin turning up in a similar fashion to that of his wife years ago with a number carved into their foreheads, "Frank" must use his powers to find the evil entity that is killing the people.

OK, first of all, I have to ask one question -- why the heck is this movie Rated R? There is absolutely no extreme gore, nor is there any real strong language to even warrant an R. When the movie first came out, the people behind it were targeting a PG-13 rating and were seriously perplexed as to why the Motion Picture Association of America gave the movie an R. And I have to agree with them. This movie really should have been PG-13.

One thing you can't help but notice is the ghosts. It is pretty obvious that they had a big problem trying to align the ghosts and the humans when they talked with each other. I find that, when a character is added into a scene during post-production, it is impossible to make the people in the scene to look directly at the ones inserted into the scene. You can really see what I am talking about if you pay attention to where the people in the scene is looking. Add to that when the special effects become dated, like in this film, and it really shows.

One big problem with this movie is character development. The audience is told very little about the three ghosts, who really aren't in the movie a lot with exception of the beginning of the movie.

You also have a problem with the blossoming romance in the movie between two main characters. In fact, there isn't even a hint in the entire movie that they are getting together until the end of the movie.

This movie is a mix between comedy and horror, and does a pretty good job at mixing the two. Like I said earlier, there is very little gore in this movie to warrant the R rating this movie received. The worst that we get is some pretty graphic looking wounds in the victims' foreheads. When the poltergeist which is killing its victims, you get it reaching into its victims bodies and the attacks look really tame for a R rated movie.

Most of the comedy comes from the three ghosts which team up with "Frank". However, when they disappear from the story, the movie becomes a tame horror flick with no real scares.

I also found the paranormal villain (Jake Bussy) not scary at all. In fact, he came off as more comical than anything.

When it comes to the movie's score, I don't remember any music or song that happened at all. I can't even tell you what the songs were that played over the closing credits.

I think that if there is nothing else on, you should check this movie out when it comes to HBO. I just can't recommend renting it.

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