Haunted Castle

From Academic Kids

Haunted Castle is a film released in 2001 to IMAX theaters in America and Germany. The film is rated PG and is computer-animated with 3D effects. Most who have seen it have commented that although the animation and 3D sensations are quite impressive, the film's plot and acting leave much to be desired.

Written by Kurt Frey and Ben Stassen the film plays out very much like many modern video games, and can be divided into two types of segments: those in which the audience is seeing through the eyes of the main character, and those in which a scene plays out where the main character is actually in the shot.


A young musician and singer named Johnny has been notified by a law firm that his mother, an incredibly famous opera singer whom he hasn't seen or heard from since he was 3 years old, has died in a car accident. He has been willed her castle and all of her property and money, but he must visit the actual castle to claim these things.

The 3D effects start almost immediately as the audience sees Johnny's car driving up a winding path to the castle. The branch of an old, withered tree seems to reach off the screen at the audience, and bats fly towards them. As Johnny enters the castle, he walks through a hall with several suits of armor. They come alive and begin attacking him (thrusting their axes and swords at the audience.) Suddenly a demonic being appears and destroys them all, then beckons Johnny further into the castle.

Johnny stumbles on a room of instruments levitating and playing themselves, and then walks into a great hall. There is an orb embedded into the ground that begins projecting the image of Johnny's mother. This segues into a rather lengthy musical number in which this holographic image sings an operatic number while the cameras circle around her.

Suddenly a demon face appears in the fire. It is the devil (referred to as "Mr. D") and he explains to Johnny that his mother sold her soul for her fame. Part of the agreement was that the devil could "not touch" Johnny. Now that she has died, Mr. D offers Johnny a similar agreement. He declines, but is enticed to explore the castle further.

He enters a cathedral like room which begins to descend. Soon Johnny is in Hell proper. At this point the film begins to take a very dark and gothic turn as Johnny tours the sections of Hell where musicians who have sold their souls are horrificly tortured. It is revealed that there was a time when luring people to Hell with fame in music was unsuccessful until Mr. D invented Rock and Roll.

Johnny is taken on a roller coaster ride through Hell that includes stops in a performance hall where the souls of the damned are trapped inside robot-monkeys. They are forced to perform for an audience of demons while a wrecking ball swipes them off the stage and destroys them one by one.

Eventually Johnny ends up in a decrepit opera hall where the worst of the tortures are taking place. Here he witnesses opera singers being decapitated or lowered into vats of acid and baraccuda. It is revealed to Johnny that Mr. D once had a romance with an opera singer who broke his heart and now he has a particular fondness for torturing opera singers.

Johnny eventually ends up back in front of Mr. D who once again entices him to sign. Johnny considers it but the spirit of his mother appears and talks him out of it. Johnny throws a guitar into the flames and begins to sing opera at the top of his lungs, and it takes on an ethereal quality. The entire castle collapses around him.

The film jumps ahead six months later, and we see that Johnny is now a famous rock and roll star. The last five minutes of the film feature a performance by he and his band as the credits float by them in little bubbles that demon angels burst with their behinds.

External link

Haunted Castle is also a 1988 arcade game in the Castlevania video game series published by Konami.


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