The Frighteners is a 1996 New Zealand-American horror comedy film directed by Peter Jackson and co-written with his wife, Fran Walsh. The film stars Michael J. Fox, Trini Alvarado, Peter Dobson, John Astin, Dee Wallace Stone, Jeffrey Combs, and Jake Busey. The Frighteners tells the story of Frank Bannister (Fox), an architect who develops psychic abilities allowing him to see, hear, and communicate with ghosts after his wife's murder. He initially uses his new abilities to befriend ghosts, whom he sends to haunt people so that he can charge them handsome fees for "exorcising" the ghosts. However, the spirit of a mass murderer appears able to attack the living and the dead, posing as the ghost of the Grim Reaper, prompting Frank to investigate the supernatural presence.