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The Frighteners Blu-ray

United States
15th Anniversary Edition Universal Studios | 1996 | 1 Movie, 2 Cuts | 123 min | Rated R | Sep 13, 2011

The Frighteners (Blu-ray)
Large:


Video
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Audio
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
French: DTS 5.1
Note: Dir.'s cut=English only...

Subtitles
English SDH, French, Spanish

Discs
50GB Blu-ray Disc
Single disc (1 BD)
BD-Live
D-Box
Mobile features

Playback
Region free

Price
List price: $19.98, Price history
Amazon: $15.32 (Save 23%)
New from: $11.99 (Save 40%)
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Movie rating
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
7.3
242
ratings.


Blu-ray rating
Video 4.4 of 54.4
Audio 4.4 of 54.4
Extras 4.6 of 54.6
Based on 6 user reviews

Movie appeal

 
Horror100%
Supernatural32%
Comedy-
86%
popularity
1969
collections
60
fans




The Frighteners

 (1996)

The Frighteners Blu-ray delivers stunning video and audio in this exceptional Blu-ray release

Frank Bannister is a psychic swindler with the perfect business partners. They work cheap... they're dedicated... and they're dead. Possessed with a genuine ability to communicate with the dearly departed, Bannister earns a stiff living by setting up "spirit clearance" scams with his trio of ghostly cronies. But a series of inexplicable deaths and bizarre occurrences suggests the presence of a malevolent poltergeist. As Bannister attempts to unravel the supernatural crime spree, he ventures into a realm where all fears are realized... and true evil does not die.

For more about The Frighteners and the The Frighteners Blu-ray release, see the The Frighteners Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 4.5 out of 5.

Starring: Michael J. Fox, Trini Alvarado, Jim Fyfe, Chi McBride, John Astin, Jake Busey
Director: Peter Jackson

» See full cast & crew


The Frighteners Blu-ray, Video Quality

  4.5 of 5

Three cheers for another catalogue title that has arrived in good shape on Blu-ray! The Frighteners was made in the days before digital intermediates, but it had more effects shots than any previous studio film at the time, all of which had to be digitally composited and rendered. Although I have no information about Jackson's involvement with the Blu-ray, it is well-established that he oversaw prior video releases (not that such oversight guarantees viewer satisfaction, as the various Lord of the Rings Blu-ray controversies have shown). Whatever sources have been used to produce this 1080p, AVC-encoded Blu-ray, the result is excellent clarity throughout, rendering minute details of the village of Fairwater (really the New Zealand town of Lyttleton), of the various elaborate interiors (including the antique Bradley household and a local museum where the Reaper makes a memorable appearance), and of faces and wardrobes of all varieties (Dammers is hard to forget, though you may wish you could).

Black levels are excellent, and this becomes crucial in the film's finale, where Frank moves psychically between dimly lit scenes in a derelict building's present and brightly lit ones that happened there in the past. (It's a subtle, seamless effect.) Black levels are also crucial for the night scenes where Frank and his compatriots chase the Reaper, and it's critical that the blacks balance appropriately with white levels, since Stuart, Cyrus and the Judge are always composed of glowing ectoplasm. And then there's Dammers, whose eyes appear to be one solid expanse of black, with no border between the iris and the pupil (Combs wore special lenses).

Lest anyone worry that the often desaturated funk that has fallen over Fairwater's present is a flaw in the transfer, the sequences in the past are golden-hued and brightly colored. Equally colorful is a wealthy household that Frank tries to shake down.

I saw no compression errors, DNR or other digital artifacts. Nor did I detect any pauses or "hiccups" at points where the additional footage had been branched into the original cut (though, of course, it's possible that results may vary on different hardware).


The Frighteners Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  4.5 of 5

Two words characterize The Frighteners' DTS-HD MA 5.1 track: loud and active. Unless you have one giant box of a sub, you may find yourself turning down the volume just to prevent the bass from bottoming out the woofer -- not from the effects, mind you, but from Danny Elfman's aggressive score. Elfman was such a fan of Jackson's Heavenly Creatures that he said "yes" the minute he heard Jackson wanted him to score a film, without having the slightest idea what kind of film it was. Of course, Jackson wanted Elfman, because, as he explains in the documentary, Elfman can pivot between comedy and horror more skillfully than any film composer around. His Frighteners score is terrific, but the mixers went wild with bass extension; so watch your dials.

As far as effects are concerned, sound technicians always find it liberating when they're not bound by realism, and in The Frighteners Frank Bannister routinely hears things to which other living people are oblivious. This presents plenty of interesting opportunities for exaggerated effects all around the room. Take one elaborate example, which could easily become a demo sequence. Frank and Dr. Lucy are locked in a room, when the Reaper attacks Lucy. Stuart and Cyrus come to their rescue, and since ghosts aren't limited by walls, the battle rages all around (and above) them, and you hear voices and struggles the whole time, while Frank and Lucy huddle in the frame. (For how it ends, you'll have to see the film.)

The dialogue is always clear and natural, except for those voices that aren't supposed to sound natural. In a story populated by so many ghosts, that's more than a few.



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The Frighteners Blu-ray, News and Updates



The Frighteners: 15th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray - June 3, 2011

Peter Jackson's 1996 horror/comedy The Frighteners has been announced for Blu-ray by Universal. The 15th Anniversary Edition will feature the theatrical version as well as Jackson's director's cut, which adds an additional 23 minutes. A release date has been set ...


The Frighteners Blu-ray, Forum Discussions



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