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Jeffrey L. Epstein

August 12, 1996

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Jeff Epstein is 24 years old and resides in West Chester, Pa. He is the author of the popular resource Jeff's Movie Page which was created in August 1995. He is also a full-time internet computer geek and a part-time professional soloist; a tenor. His other obsessions are the Muppets, his Sharp Wizard, Billy Joel and good video games.

Now here's Jeff's review:

The Frighteners (1996)

The Frighteners is among the cleverest movies of the year. It was wonderful that so many plot-twists were unpredictable and believable. The comedy was hysterical (When a man's jawbone falls out, it's time to reasess the situation..."), and the horror, not meant to be scream-scary, was original and twisted. There were no standout performances, everyone was excellent. Jeffrey Combs is wonderfully wacky as the FBI agent (I was waiting for Mulder to walk in and tell him to "Shut up, already!"), Julianna McCarthy is total evil as Patricia's (Dee-Wallace Stone) mother and Michael J. Fox is the straight man that holds it all together.

The Frighteners tries extra hard to be a quality and quantity movie and succeeds. It is a crime how badly it is performing in the box office. This is the best movie that no one has seen since last summer's The Indian in the Cupboard.

Observations and questions:
  • There should have been more of the ghost-dog. He just disappeared after one throw-away sight gag.
  • Patricia was confusing and written inconsistently.
  • Why were the ghost-friends so overly-cooperative and caring towards Frank Bannister (Fox)? It came across that they were expected to be this way for no good reason and that Frank was annoyed by them. Although he does not pay or feed them, of course (they're dead!), there should be a developed relationship between them. The audience was shown no friendship when there should have been a significant one--he made them ride in the trunk of his car, for gosh-sake! I blame this on the script and not the acting.
  • My Rating = Four Stars

    Jeff can be reached directly at jepstein@bones.wcupa.edu.
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