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The Frighteners (1996)

aka The Frighteners

"No Rest for the Wicked."

Directed By: 
Details: 110 mins · English, Português · R (USA)


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Small Frank Bannister
Small Milton Dammers
Small Johnny Charles Bartlett
Small Cyrus
Small Dr. Lucy Lynskey
No_movie_poster Ray Lynskey
Small The Judge
Small Patricia Ann Bradley
No_movie_poster Stuart
No_movie_poster Sheriff Walt Perry
No_movie_poster Old Lady Bradley
Small Sgt. Hiles
No_movie_poster Magda Rees-Jones
Small Deputy
Small Museum Curator
No_movie_poster Mrs. Waterhouse
Small Patricia Ann Bradley
Small Man with Piercings


Small Peter Jackson Director
No_movie_poster Fran Walsh Screenplay
Small Danny Elfman Original Music Composer
No_movie_poster Jamie Selkirk Production
No_movie_poster Alun Bollinger Director of Photography
No_movie_poster John Blick Director of Photography
Small Peter Jackson Production
Small Peter Jackson Writer
No_movie_poster Jamie Selkirk Editing


"No Rest for the Wicked."

"Your number's up!"

"Dead yet?"

"Frightening, isn't it?"


In 1990, architect Frank Bannister loses his wife, Debra, in a car accident. He gives up his profession, letting his unfinished "dream house" sit incomplete for years. Following the accident, Frank gains the power to see ghosts and befriends three: Cyrus, a 1970s gangster, Stuart, a 1950s nerd, and the Judge, a gunslinger from the Old West. The ghosts haunt houses in the area to accumulate work for Frank's ghostbusting business; Frank then "exorcises" the houses for a fee. Most locals see him as a con man.

Frank cons local health nut Ray Lynskey and his wife Lucy, a physician. Ray dies of a heart attack not long after. An encounter with his ghost leads Frank to discover that an entity representing himself as the Grim Reaper is killing people and marking numbers on their foreheads that only the psychic can see. Frank's wife Debra had a similar number when she was found.

Because Frank can see the numbers ahead of time, he can foretell the murders, but this puts him under suspicion with the police, even Sheriff Walt Perry, who is usually patient with Frank. He calls in FBI agent Milton Dammers. Highly paranoid, obsessive and disturbed from years of undercover work, Dammers is convinced that Frank is psychically responsible for the killings. Frank is captured and detained after the town's newspaper editor, Magda Rees-Jones, is killed – she has previously publishing articles attacking him. During the confusion of the arrest, the Judge "dies" when he tries to protect Frank from the Reaper.

Lucy investigates the murders and becomes a target of the Reaper. She is attacked while visiting Frank in jail, but they escape with the help of Cyrus and Stuart, who are both dissolved in the process. Frank wants to commit suicide to stop the Reaper. Lucy helps Frank have a near-death experience by putting him into hypothermia and using barbiturates to stop his heart. Dammers abducts Lucy, revealing that he had been a victim of Charles Manson and his "Family" in 1969.

In his ghostly form, Frank confronts the Reaper and discovers that he is the ghost of Johnny Bartlett, a psychiatric hospital orderly who killed 12 people about 32 years earlier, before being captured, convicted, and executed. Patricia Bradley, then a teenager, was accused as his accomplice, although she escaped the death penalty due to her underage status. Lucy resuscitates Frank and they visit Patricia. Unknown to them, Patricia is still in love with Bartlett and on friendly, homicidal terms with Bartlett's ghost. Lucy and Frank trap Bartlett's spirit in his urn, which Patricia has kept. The pair make for the chapel of the now-abandoned psychiatric hospital hoping to send Bartlett's ghost to Hell.

Patricia and Dammers chase them through the ruins. Dammers throws the ashes away, releasing Bartlett's ghost again before Patricia kills him. Bartlett's ghost and Patricia hunt down Frank and Lucy. Frank realizes that Bartlett's ghost, with Patricia's help, was responsible for his wife's death and the number on her brow.

Out of bullets, Patricia strangles Frank to death, but Frank in spirit form rips Patricia's spirit from her body, forcing Bartlett to follow them. Bartlett grabs Patricia's ghost, while Frank makes it to Heaven, where he is reunited with Cyrus and Stuart along with his wife Debra. Bartlett and Patricia's spirits are dragged to Hell. Frank learns it is not yet his time and is sent back to his body. Frank and Lucy fall in love. Lucy is now able to see ghosts as well. Frank later begins demolishing the unfinished dream house and building a life with Lucy while the ghost of Dammers is riding around in the sheriff's car.

Release Dates:

DVD : 1998-08-18