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The Frighteners

Reviewed by: Dawn Cole

Very Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Supernatural Horror Comedy
1 hr. 46 min.
Year of Release:
Copyright, Universal Pictures
Relevant Issues



death in the Bible

What is eternal life? What is eternal death?

final judgment

Are you good enough to get to Heaven? Answer

How good is good enough? Answer

Will all mankind eventually be saved? Answer

murder in the Bible

What is the Occult? Answer

THE OCCULT—What does the Bible say about it? Answer

Starring: Michael J. Fox, Trini Alvarado, Peter Dobson, John Astin, Jeffrey Combs / Directed by: Peter Jackson, John Blick / Produced by: Robert Zemeckis, Peter Jackson, Jamie Selkirk / Distributor: Universal Pictures

“Dead yet?”

“Frighteners” is a dark, gruesome comedy/horror film which many Christians will find objectionable, twisted and disgusting.

The movie explodes into action with an intense opening as a “ghost” terrorizes a seemingly innocent young woman. The woman’s home is very dark and sinister looking. The impression is given that this “ghost” is trying to kill this young lady. We are left hanging on the edge of our seats as the scene changes to a funeral where Frank Banister (Michael J. Fox) is trying to drum up business.

He is a paranormal activity specialist calling himself a “Psychic Investigator,” dropping his business card around to let the loved ones know he can communicate with their dead.

Later at home, we find Frank conversing with three decomposing ghoulies, setting the stage for another “supposed” poltergeist infestation. His ghoulie buddies go into a home and mildly frighten the occupants. Dishes are thrown, beds levitated, then his invisible buddies leave his business card lay around so he is sure to get a call for help.

Tension is high around town, as a series of mysterious deaths has touched a number of families, and Frank’s friends. Frank comes under suspicion and is questioned about his involvement.

He soon discovers an evil connection between these deaths and a mass murder that took place over 30 years ago. While in a restroom Frank witnesses first hand the death of a man, by a mysterious hooded and caped ghoul. His ghoulie buddies are terrified of this caped “soul collector,” and rightfully so, since the evil one can slice and dice them up with his sickle, and send them to “the other side” once and for all.

When Frank discovers that some of his human friends are marked for “soul collection,” he sets out to discover the identity of this gruesome evil one. Frank’s unique ability to see ghosts is due to a traumatic experience 5 years earlier. He realizes that in order to find out who is posing as Death, and fight him off, he must become one of the “living dead”—which he does.

Christians will find this film objectionable for several reasons. There is much vulgar language, and several times throughout, God’s name is used in vain (“God,” “Jesus,” “for Christ’s sake,” “Holy Jesus,” etc.). One of Frank’s ghoulie buddies known as “Judge” has sex on screen with a museum mummy. When he is finished, he makes several vulgar comments, including “I like it when they lay still like that.” The entire scene is particularly gross and disgusting.

There are occultic undertones to the movie. An undercover FBI occult expert is brought in to investigate these mysterious deaths. The agent’s body is scarred with various occultic and demonic symbols, and his bizzare behaviour expresses the ritualistic practices he has endured.

The unbiblical views of death portrayed in this film would be laughable, if they were not so sad. We take comfort in knowing we will be with Christ immediately after death. Christ told the thief on the cross, “today you will be in paradise with me.”

This film portrays Heaven as a tunnel filled with light and angelic music. A murderous couple is shown on their way to heaven, then suddenly stopped and overtaken with snakes and devoured by a huge serpent that then jumps into a lake of fire. The script writers must have read part of the book of The Revelation to get that idea!

Who is the being of light encountered in near-death experiences? Answer

This film is advertised as a comedy, but the humor is weak and perverse. I suggest you avoid wasting your money or polluting your mind with this film. Take comfort in 2 Corinthians 5:8

“We are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.”

  • Violence: Very Heavy
  • Swearwords: Heavy— “J*sus” (5), “G*d d*mn” (6), “For Chr*st's sake” (3), “For G*d's sake” (2), “Oh my G*d” (4), “G*d,” “d*mn” (12), “h*ll” (10+), s-words (15), “a**” (10+), “cr*p,” “son of a b*tch” (2), “b*stard,” “p*ssed,” etc.
  • Sex/Nudity: Moderate—but disgusting