THE FRIGHTENERS
1996, Universal, 110 min, New Zealand/USA, Dir: Peter Jackson

Peter Jackson’s follow-up to the acclaimed HEAVENLY CREATURES was this unusual mix of horror and dark comedy. Michael J. Fox stars as architect Frank Bannister, who gains the ability to see spirits after his wife’s death in an accident. At first Bannister exploits this power to set up a ghostbusting business - until he crosses paths with a dead serial killer who is still looking for victims. Shot in New Zealand (which a chunk of the film’s sizable digital effects budget turned into Middle America), the film earned eight Saturn Award nominations and features a score by Danny Elfman.


HEAVENLY CREATURES
1994, Park Circus, 99 min, New Zealand, Dir: Peter Jackson

“It was our intention to make a film about a friendship that went terribly wrong,” said director Peter Jackson of this acclaimed look at the run-up to a notorious 1954 killing in Christchurch, New Zealand. In strong screen debuts, Kate Winslet and Melanie Lynskey play obsessive teens who bond over an imagined world and eventually murder the mother they fear will separate them. The remarkable re-creation of the girls’ inner lives is aided by Jackson’s wonderfully visualized fantasy sequences and voice-overs drawn from actual diary entries.


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