31 Horror Films #31: The Frighteners 1996 Dir. Peter Jackson

Last year I did a series of daily micro blogs going through the history of horror films by year. This was meant to give people an example of the high points of the genre. This year I'll be doing the same thing, but going off the beaten path to provide some films you may not have heard of. These films may not be up your alley, but they're all interesting.

The Frighteners 1996 Dir. Peter Jackson

A lot of people forget this, given the massive mainstream success of The Lord of the Rings, but Peter Jackson used to make horror films. No…seriously, all of you squares who don’t deign to watch horror movies, are watching the culmination of a horror nerd’s success . It's also worth noting that The Frighteners is considered the bridge from horror to Tolkien’s high fantasy, as Jackson was developing WETA workshop to handle the digital effects of the spirits and monsters. Likely, Jackson’s most accessible horror film, The Frighteners tells the tale of former architect and current supernatural exorcist, Frank Bannister, making his living through a mutual partnership with three ghosts. Frank sends his “partners “ in to scare the living, leaving Frank to “exorcise” the spirits and collect a pay check. Unfortunately, Frank finds himself at the center of a murder mystery when people in town start turning up dead with numbers carved into their foreheads. Featuring wonderful character turns from John Astin, Jeffery Combs, and Chi McBride, this movie alternates perfectly from laugh-out-loud hilarity and genuine terror, The Frighteners remains a fun and energetic entry into the genre.

Watch the trailer HERE.