Nightmare Fuel / The Frighteners

The Movie

  • The Grim Reaper spirit. His modus operandi of carving numbers into his victims' heads. He can also "kill" other spirits.
    • There's also his traveling through walls, floors, and carpets.
    • His second scene has him coming out of a mirror with an unholy screech, reaching into a man's chest, and squeezing the life out of his heart, killing him.
  • All the scars on Dammers' torso. Just imagine the pain he went through to help the government take down cults. Including having both nipples seemingly burned off. He directly mentions drinking goat's blood, ritualistic cannibalism, and sadistic sexual orgies. All for his country.
  • The implications of a spirit missing both chances to move on. You are stuck in this plane of existence until you just fall apart. The Judge has been around for quite a while, and showed no signs he was about to give up the ghost anytime soon. And if no one around has had near-death trauma, then the only people who can hear you are other ghosts, who are equally stranded.
    • Since Bartlett is able to follow Frank and Patricia when they go through the tunnel, it seems that you can hitch a ride on another spirit's ascension. Which may explain why places like hospitals often seem haunted. It's like a bus station for ghosts; they're just waiting around for the next ride out of town.
  • The finale in which Frank and Lucy have to evade Patricia, who's armed with a shotgun as Frank constantly shifts between the present and the past hospital, bearing witness to the horrible massacre that happened many years ago, often from the perspective of the people being slaughtered.
  • An example from the Director's Cut that crosses over with Squick. Frank experiences a scene where Johnny and Patricia are playing around in the morgue, and start making love on an examination table, Patricia's foot dipping into a scale filled with some corpse's innards. Gross.
  • "I'm in the mood for vivisection!" "Me too! Me too!" (they're referring to vivisection with a pick ax!)
  • The final fate of Johnny and Patricia, while deserved, is still pretty gruesome. The tunnel of light they are using to return to Earth while gloating about all they are going to do back on the living world suddenly turns into a very womb-like tunnel, then snake-like protuberances come out of the wall to bind and go through both ghosts until the tunnel closes, revealing it to be an infernal snake that then takes them into Hell.
  • Imagine you're one of the Reaper's victims; you're perfectly healthy and just minding your business when, suddenly, you get a horrible pain in your chest, like someone...or something...is crushing the life right out of your heart, to paraphrase Sheriff Perry. And you have no idea what the hell is going on. And worse, unless you're a psychic like Frank, you can't see that some dark, evil thing—actually the depraved spirit of a Serial Killer—is directly causing your heart attack. Seriously, it's Paranoia Fuel at its finest.

Meta/Other

  • The menu screen for the Director's Cut has the Grim Reaper coming right at the screen towards you! Sweet dreams!
  • The behind-the-scenes feature on the Director's Cut shows some pieces of concept art of the Grim Reaper, one of which shows the thing standing behind a young woman seated in a chair.
  • Michael Jahn's novelization somehow manages to add to the creepiness, even if it is based on an early draft of the script.
    • The Reaper has the habit of whispering "Don't fear the reaper" to its victims as it kills them.
    • Hell, the blurb on the back is absolutely chilling:
      Forty years ago, he stalked the streets of Fairwater. A dark, hooded figure who claimed the lives of twelve people. Now he is back for more.
      He enters your home. He lives in your walls. He's after your soul. Because he is the Grim Reaper. And nothing alive can stop him.
      That's why the folks of Fairwater have enlisted the help of The Frighteners. They're more than supernatural experts—they're the best ghost-hunting team in the business. Because they're already dead...
    • Even more Paranoia Fuel:
      And where was this Reaper? What if he showed up now, before Frank had his out-of-body experience? The creature seemed able to go anywhere—inside walls, even into the floor of the jail. What if it were lurking in the walls of the medical center? What if it were in the walls of the cryolab itself?

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/NightmareFuel/TheFrighteners