(Review originally written at 8 November 2008)

Before the entire world knew who Peter Jackson was, he had already made some great movies, this one included. "The Frighteners" always have been one of my favorite movies to watch, in terms of entertainment, since the late '90's. This is a very underrated and overlooked movie.

Horror and comedy is not really something that gets mixed together too often, at least not very successfully. Whenver you decide to do so, it almost immediately turns into a cult movie and not one to take very seriously. There are also however some exceptions and movies that are good in a more serious way but of course not without being entertaining. It's very rarely that both the horror and comedy works out just as effectively in such a movie. "The Frighteners" however is such a movie in which both works out great. It foremost is an entertaining movie but also really one with some real good horror in it.

The movie uses an amusing concept and some characters that work out comically for the movie. It ensures that the movie at all times remains an entertaining one to watch. However the movie its horror is done- and handled just as professionally. It's a good looking movie with some surprising good early special effects. The special effects in this movie look just as good and convincing looking as gets featured in movies now days. And the special effects do play a big part in this movie. Normally special effects and horror don't form a too great combination but this movie and its horror truly benefits from its fine special effects.

It's true that the movie gets more serious and darker as it heads toward its ending though. It shows how difficult it is to maintain a good balance of comedy and horror throughout an entire movie. Still this movie succeeds in that for about 90% of its running time. Still too bad that the more serious second halve of the movie isn't as good as its fun first halve.

The movie is well cast, with Michael J. Fox in a good and entertaining movie role. He seems out of place within a horror movie but he plays his character mostly entertaining and as a sort of average Joe, which works out perfectly for the movie and his character in particular of course. The movie also has some other fine and well known actors in it such as Jake Busey, Dee Wallace and Troy Evans. R. Lee Ermey greatly spoofs his own role from "Full Metal Jacket" within this movie and Jeffrey Combs just plays one fine classic character, that is totally crazy and over-the-top but very entertaining. He is an actor with a real cult-status within the horror circuit, due to his role in the "Re-Animtor" movie and its sequels. It's the reason why he often pops up in a horror movie, in often some small but memorable roles. This one is perhaps his most classic and entertaining movie appearances.

One perfectly fine entertaining movie to watch, with some great horror in it as well!


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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