The Frighteners

Bomb Rating: 

It seems to me that if you're a director and you're going to have MichaelJ. Fox star in your movie, you might as well have a huge "I suck" tattooed on your forehead. That may seem like a cruel punishment to inflict on director Peter ("Heavenly Creatures") Jackson in his native New Zealand, but even a Hollywood outsider should have the smarts to know that a guy who starred consecutively in "Life with Mikey," "For Love and Money" and "Greedy" should be given a job licking toilet bowls, not starring in a multi-million dollar film.

Then again, Peter Jackson seems to take a kind of perverse pleasure in making bad movies. His success with "Heavenly Creatures" was a complete anomaly. Prior to that he made "Bad Taste," an X-rated puppet movie called "Meet the Feebles" and the bloodiest film ever made, "Dead Alive." How seriously committed is Jackson to his so-called art in the making of his latest fiasco? Let's just say that a true artist would have thrown in Justine Bateman, Tina Yothers and Brian Bonsall and had them accidentally decapitated in some freak family hugging accident.

Unfortunately, dreams do not come true, and Michael J. Fox is left to fend for himself as Frank Bannister, a psychic who works with a pair of ghosts in order to swindle people. The ghosts shake things up and Frank comes in for a fee. The result is a movie that, despite combining horror, suspense, mystery, action, comedy and special effects, comes across as little more than an unmitigated tragedy.

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