Haunted Castle [IMAX]
PG
Entertainment: +1
Acceptability: -3

Nwave Pictures challenges the ideals of IMAX Corporation with this bizarre 3D production unlike any other designed for IMAX screens. Targeted for rock music fans, it focuses on Johnny, a young rock musician, summoned to his recently deceased mother's castle. She abandoned Johnny (Jasper Steverlinck) when he was three years old to become a famous singer. Arriving at the spooky castle on a (what else) stormy night, Johnny is met by evil spirits beckoning him inside. Guards in armored suits surround him as hes escorted to the main room. Mr. D (voice of Harry Shearer) materializes as a monster head in the flames of a huge fireplace, offering Johnny a real deal. If, like his mother, he surrenders his soul, Mr. D will guarantee fame and fortune. But the spirit of Johnny's mother appears, warning him not to accept the offer. The surreal setting of disembodied spirits and spooky castle viewed with 3D glasses may intrigue those fascinated by Halloween images, but HAUNTED CASTLE lacks the quality of most IMAX productions. Weird, pointless and boring describe this bomb.

HAUNTED CASTLE lowers the high standards of this stunning, recent motion picture technique, whose productions normally focus on wholesome, educational family fare. Press materials indicate IMAX objected to Nwave's use of their unique projection system for this film citing scenes of violence and torture. But freedom of expression won out. Unfortunately, Nwave has a right to pave the way for entertainment sleaze into formerly pristine productions. For this vaguely Faustian story, there's no sexual content or foul language, but neither are there strong redeeming qualities. Johnny eventually rejects Mr. Ds offer and destroys the castle by switching from rock to singing opera, which the villain abhors. And there are brief scenes of tortured musicians as Johnny tours the castle but the major violence includes explosions and a huge fire. However, positive portrayal of communicating with the dead and evil spirits, contrary to Biblical teaching, makes HAUNTED CASTLE unsuitable for discerning viewers.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Distributor: Nwave Pictures, 3000 W. Olympic Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90404

Summary
Crude Language: None
Obscene Language: None
Profanity: None
Violence: Several times Moderate (explosions, fires, property destruction)
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: None
Other: Spirits of the dead communicate with living; evil spirits haunt castle; evil spirit tries to buy boy's soul; good triumphs
Running Time: 37 minutes
Intended Audience: Teenagers

Copyright Preview Family Movie Review (www.previeoOnline.org)