The Frighteners might just be the most influential film you’ve never seen. A box office bomb on release in 1996, it was the first major studio release for one Peter Jackson, who brought in the impressive special effects experts he worked with on this film for his next venture, a little-known trilogy called The Lord of the Rings.
Horror was a natural fit for Jackson, who first cut his teeth on low-budget video nasties such as Brain Dead and Meet The Feebles. After winning critical respect with the psychological thriller Heavenly Creatures, he returned to his preferred genre with a $30 million production budget to play with.
Having made all of his previous movies on a shoestring, Jackson invested heavily in the special effects for The Frighteners, lending the film a striking visual flair that helps sets it apart from more by-the-numbers chillers. He took that same visual team with him for LOTR, under his visual effects company WETA Digital.
On this very special episode of Beyond The Box Set, friend of the pod Phil Better joins us to break down his fond pre-teen memories of this movie. We also break down the plot, engage in some drinking games, discuss the insane scenery chewing of scream queen Dee Wallace and much more – before pitching our own sequel ideas to give The Frighteners a new lease of life.
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Next week, we’ll be wrapping up our Halloween season with a chilling listener choice. Until then, happy listening and remember – Jake Busey always plays the villain.