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The Frighteners PosterWhen taking a break from writing 'Heavenly Creatures' Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh went to buy some milk, on the way they talked about a new movie involving ghosts, when HC was completed they got to work on the script which eventually became 'The Frighteners', the script soon landed on the desk of one Robert Zemeckis who was on the look out for a new 'Tales From the Crypt' movie but felt that this script could be a great full length feature.

In 1996 work commenced on the movie, almost immediately after Peters completion of 'Forgotten Silver'. The movie had the largest budget that Peter had to play with and with over 500 special effects shots (the largest is any movie so far) he had to expand his special effect capabilities from 3 computers to... well a lot, even poaching an old hand from 'Industrial Light & Magic'. However the movie wasn't very successful at the box office. The film was released on the same day as the opening ceremony of the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, and this most likely had an impact on the sale of film tickets.

Peter on setBeing Peter's first Hollywood production, and also the increase in budget allowed the director to make use more big names. Michael J. Fox stars as Frank Bannister. Also, it' is the first movie of Peters that Peter Dasent didn't write the music for, Zemeckis  employed Danny Elfman (The Simpsons, Batman, Mars Attacks, etc.) instead.

'The Frighteners' is the fifth film in which Peter Jackson plays a part, (being famed for his cameo appearances!). Look out for the biker that Frank bumps into after stepping out of the newspaper office.

In the sleepy little town of Fairwater the population is decreasing, the doctors are baffled, and fears of a mysterious heart condition are rife.    Enter Frank Bannister a 'qualified' psychic who gets his ghostly friends to haunt people so he can 'exorcise' them.  Pretty soon the authorities begin to suspect Franks involvement in the deaths but only Frank knows the truth, he sees a figure in a black cape who reaches into peoples chests and squeezes the life from them. Throughout this film Frank dies, gets resurrected, dies again and comes back to life again (Even Jesus couldn't pull that one off), and establishes a connection between the 'Death figure' and a serial killer who was sent to the electric chair over 40 years ago.