Saturday, September 8, 2007

The Frighteners

This is the first time I’ve seen the Frighteners since it was in theaters, so there was some worry that I’d been remembering it unnecessarily fondly due to me being an idiot teenager that loved almost anything back then. As it turns out, while my memory had been overrating it just a tad, it does hold up fairly well.

Let’s start with the bad. For some reason, Peter Jackson’s attempt at blending the humor and horror together never quite clicks as well as, say, the Re-Animator movies, or even Jackson’s own prior work. The jokes don’t extend far enough, really, and are all but forgotten entirely when it comes time for the climax. This is, of course, with the notable exception of the seemingly unstoppable Mr. Jeffrey Combs, who completely steals every scene he appears in. Him aside, though, the movie never quite gets where it needs to be.

This is not to say that it’s outright bad, though. It’s certainly pleasant enough. The acting works pretty well, the pace is pretty good, the special effects are great considering when it was made, it’s all very decently done in general, it just doesn’t manage to take things to the next level. It’s one of Peter Jackson’s weakest films, but it’s still a pleasant enough way to kill two hours if you’ve got the time on your hands. If for no other reason, it should be watched at least once just to see Combs going so ridiculously far over the top that one wonders if he’s ever going to find his way back down.

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