Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Ghost of Johnny Barlett

I’ve always enjoyed The Frighteners, even as a little kid. Everything about the film was great; the dark comedy, the effects, the performances by Busey and Combs, the hospital flashbacks and that here were some pretty scary scenes in the film. However, one thing has always stuck with me about this movie and as far back as I can remember I used to draw pictures of it. I’m talking about Bartlett’s ghost and his Grim Reaper disguise. I did find it interesting that he took on the persona of the Grim Reaper and that Jackson’s vision of this Death icon is pretty unique, the one thing that always captured by eye was the way that Bartlett’s ghost appeared before the end of the film.

Up until Frank finally ‘derobes’ Bartlett from his Grim Reaper disguise, Bartlett appears as this giant humanoid monster like ghost that comes out of the walls but he doesn’t do it the traditional way. This is where I think Jackson really did something different that I haven’t seen before. When Bartlett comes out of the wall or the ground or even a rug, he pushes the wall with him so that it molds around his body. This gives him this demonic and almost frightening look to his ghostly character. It also takes away his facial expressions, his eyes and his mouth rendering him to look like some otherworldly demon.

It comes as no surprise as to why I enjoyed those scenes so much; when I was 9 or 10 I had watched Nightmare on Elm Street and I became fascinated with the way Krueger peered down at Nancy as she slept in her bed. These scenes, whether they were inspired or ripped off from, sort of reflect that style and I think that’s why I enjoyed them.


Anonymous said...

Nice perspective. The whole "people moving behind the curtain" IS rather freaky.

Post a Comment