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Sven Unterwaldt Jr.
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Jupiter Jones refuses to attend the surprise party his friends throw against his expressed wished. However he loves investigating an intruder, who gets away but without the clue he came looking for. It leads to another Californian ghost town and its "castle's" secret, which links to orphan Jupiter's parents. Written by
At the beginning of the movie the Rolls Royce is seen driving on the right side of the road. At the end of the movie, as the boys return from their trip, the Rolls drives on the left side, which is wrong for California, but correct for South Africa, where the movie was filmed. See more »
What is it about The Three Investigators that we're always going to places like "Terror Castle"? Why can't we ever go on "The Case of the Cozy Cottage," or "The Mystery of Grandma's Little Prairie Home"?
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There is a question mark after the title of my review above, and with good reason.
The movie was well filmed, looked quite professional with nice takes and good camera-work. But everyone loves a good story and good acting. This is where the Investigators fall short.
While watching the movie, I was reminded of those old family movies we used to see in the 60's and 70's, you know the kind? With an implausible plot, poor lines, studied expressions and gestures, and the eternal ever-so-predictable story outcomes. Still, you watch because, maybe, you're bored, or have nothing else to do, or you like to perceive the scenes unfolding and be able to say "I knew that!" This is just that kind of movie. Judging from the cheesy, infantile plot, it seems it was made mainly for the very young viewers, maybe preteens who are still not old enough to piece a basic plot together and make solid decisions. So, they just watch, not to understand really, but just to see what happens next. I wonder, however, if this last remark holds much truth, because I am a drama teacher and coach, and I see many of my 6, 7 or 8 year-olds with minds that work much faster than what is implied in this movie. There were several scenes where you'd have to be either really young, or a partial moron, not to figure out.
These teen "Investigators", then, come up with the most mind-bending solutions to puzzles without too many apparent clues, drawing post-007 conclusions from thin air. "Terror Castle" was no castle and there was no terror in it, other than the creepy environs and Gothic atmosphere. The story wants to portray some kind of 'paranormal' experts and 'crime detectives'; the only thing I found 'paranormal' was these youngsters playing a potentially 'dangerous' game of 'mom and pop heroes' in bad taste.
What the "scary" Sheriff was needed for on those abandoned grounds was not explained, nor why his daughter was fascinated with reincarnation, and what she was doing in the "castle" to begin with. Everything they seemed to need to carry out their quest seemed to either pop into view, or 'magically' appeared in their backpacks. After a while of this, you start wondering if there's something you need to get done to get away, or if you should just fall asleep.
It wasn't awful, but I won't give this one more than a '3'. Your mileage might differ, but if you watch it, see if you don't agree this one is best left in the 'forgettable' bin.
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