The Frighteners (1996) Film Review

The Frighteners

Frank Bannister (Michael J. Fox) can see ghosts. He has been able to since a car tragic accident that he survived but took his wife. It has been relatively light, with ghosts like The Judge (John Astin) who help him in his spirit psychic business. Things turn for the worse as the townsfolk start dropping dead of heart failure, and Frank sees numbers appearing on their heads before they go. An evil spirit is in town, and the incompetent and strange FBI Agent Milton Dammers (Jeffrey Combs) believes that Frank is responsible. It is only with the help of recently widowed Dr Lucy Lynskey (Trini Alvardo) that they have any chance of stopping the murders.

I think this is a really clever film. It’s quite funny, but also scary, and as he has shown over and over again, Peter Jackson can tell a good story. I suspect that if you love horror films, you’d not enjoy this as it is possibly way down the scale for horrors, but for a wuss like me, it’s a good combo of horror and comedy. And Michael J Fox *sigh*.

West Side Story (1961) Film Review

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If you don’t like musicals, stop reading now. Because while I think this is truly a great film adaptation of a stage musical, if you don’t like musicals, you really won’t like the dancing fight scenes.

Based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet but set in inner-city New York in the fifties, West Side Story follows the love that grows between Maria and Tony. It has some of my favourite ever musical songs (I want to live in America is one of my all time favs) but far too many ballads for my liking. Even though it is a great film, it’s not without its flaws. Like Natalie Wood’s appalling accent, or the fact that it goes forever. But it is still magnificent. And don’t blink – there’s a uncredited appearance by John Astin in there too!

West Side Story won awards for Best Picture, Best Actor in a Supporting Role (George Chakiris), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Rita Moreno), Best Director (Robert Wise & Jerome Robbins), Best Cinematography, Color, Best Art Direction – Set Decoration, Color, Best Costume Design, Color, Best Sound, Best Film Editing and Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture and was nominated for Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium.