It's official: I like two Peter Jackson movies. This is the second.
The Frighteners is like Three Amigos, but inside out. Everybody knows this guy is a con artist and nobody believes him when he really is the only person who can save them.
First of all, Michael J. Fox was probably the best person to play the lead (whose name I was about to say I'd forgotten until I remembered that his name is Frank) because everybody loves Michael J. Fox. Except commies and fascists, but I don't believe in either of those things.
Secondly, I kind of had the feeling that Tim Burton and Joe Dante could have also had a crack at this movie. If Dante had directed it I probably would have liked it just as much, but I'm glad Burton didn't get ahold of it. He would have made everything black and white checkerboard and cast Johnny Depp as Frank, which wouldn't have worked. (No disrespect to Depp; I just don't think he's right for the part. Unlike what a lot of his fans seem to think, I believe there are roles he can't pull off.)
I loved The Frighteners; the only problem I really had with the movie was that I figured it out. I hate that! I like just watching and enjoying movies, going along with the ride and not worrying about what happens next. But I figured out The Frighteners and that ruined a little bit of it for me.
But Chi McBride was awesome, the spectre of death was super creepy (like if the Ghost Of Christmas Future from The Muppet's Christmas Carol was CGI and really active) and, much as I hate to admit it, all of the people who didn't believe Frank were totally justified.
Usually that "boy who cried wolf" sort of plot makes my stomach hurt because it's usually so obvious that this person really is telling the truth and everyone around him is just being a jerk. It makes me very, very tense. I hate it.
In this case, though, if I were there I wouldn't have believed him either. He's the only person in town who can see the ghosts and he just happens to be around when all these mysterious deaths are happening.
In fact, it's amazing The Frighteners didn't make me all tense and stomachachey, because the plot really is the kind that stresses me out. It was just so much fun that I guess it didn't matter. Hooray!
End of line.