Office Christmas Party
Another reminder that allowing your cast to madly improvise instead of actually providing a coherent script with a scintilla of inherent logic often leads to…
Incredible, the amount of work that went into “The Frighteners.” And appalling. Anyone who appreciates special effects, computer animation or movie makeup will regard this movie with awe. There's not a shot that doesn't suggest infinite pains and patience; complex makeup was painstakingly applied to actors for shots that were then married to special effects in order to create a screen filled with gory images.
But all of that incredible effort has resulted in a film that looks more like a demo reel than a movie--like the kind of audition tape a special-effects expert would put together, hoping to impress a producer enough to give him a real job. Peter Jackson, who directed “The Frighteners” (and 1994's much better “Heavenly Creatures”) qualifies on the basis of this film for any special-effects movie you can imagine, just as long as it's about something.
One of the more excruciating experiences for any movie lover is to sit through a movie filled with frenetic nonstop action, in which, however, nothing of interest happens. “The Frighteners” is a film like that, a film that compels me to break my resolution never to quote Shakespeare's “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” It's like watching a random image generator.
The plot involves a professional ghostbuster named Bannister (Michael J. Fox), who is not quite the fraud we think him to be. True, he haunts funerals, offering his services to the bereaved, who might want to contact (or avoid) loved ones on the other side.