Books and covers make for worthless clichés when you’re delving into fortress architecture. With magic, demons, blood and monsters, these six movie castles that are as scary as they look waste no time in keeping the evil going strong and steady.
Rochester Castle, “Ironclad”.
Castles and royalty tend to have a love/hate relationship that is filled with more co-dependency than your average freshmen dorm. The royals are either building a castle, remodeling a castle, defending a siege in their castle, trying to take back their castle or getting exsanguinated by leeches in their castle, which makes their house a high stress environment. Just look at Rochester castle, a foreboding structure that gets taken over by the Danish allies of King John, then retaken by the Templars and company, then half-taken by King John, then returned to normal. Baron d’Aubiny gets to add his own matte finish (initially a semi-gloss) to Rochester’s interior walls as he gets the prestige of “death by homemade trebuchet” in “Ironclad”.
“Howl’s Moving Castle”.
All animal hybrid creations like the castle in “Howl’s Moving Castle” should be left in the creepy hands of mad scientists who are not free to roam. Having the feet of a bird is grotesque, but couple it with a stealth mode and the fact that it’s not fueled by steam or oil from a fast food franchise (a freaking demon powers the castle up!), and you've got one spooky castle. As it shows here the entrance to the castle when Sophie trails behind the scarecrow, take a second to see how fearsome the castle’s outline looks against the setting sun, and then feel free to shudder deep inside.
Hogwarts, “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”.
Filled with magical defenses and offenses, Hogwarts is one incredibly terrifying castle. With a basilisk in the basement, a janitor with an unhealthy obsession with his cat, giant spiders in the surrounding forest and a closet that will give you whatever you desire, this castle can pound on foes and students alike. Where else in the film world can a grumpy tree pimp slap you around, as it does to Ron and Harry upon landing at Hogwarts? Scary castles breed scarier foliage.
Dracula’s Summer Palace, “Van Helsing”.
Being scared of vampires is nothing new, but when the monster is cocky enough to actually own vacation property, you should be filling your shoes with “Canadian Lemonade” as the terror strikes your heart. Dracula’s Summer Palace isn’t a couple of gazebos and a cabin with an AC box pummeled into a wall; it’s large, foreboding, and it has a ballroom. Yes, a freaking ballroom for monster dances. As the heroes escape from the timeshare from hell, you can feel the decorative malice of this place as it radiates evil.
Castle Dracula, “Dracula: Dead and Loving It”.
Held together with enough bat droppings and spider webs to make any mummy movie jealous, Castle Dracula is a building where the terror lies in the amount of lawsuits it could get hit with by having a visitor. Throw in a clumsy bloodsucking vampire and “Dracula: Dead and Loving It” has a residence worthy of many contractors’ nightmares. The castle is even vicious to its master, as it sends Dracula down the stairs in a scene that shows the true ruler of the domain.
Laputa, “Castle in the Sky”.
At first glance, Laputa looks like a daydream by some friendly hippies (the ones who never leave their special cupcakes mixed with the regular ones). It has just the right amount of floating island, castle parts and vegetation. But that’s how it lures you into its nightmarish grasp. To a person scared of heights, this is their personal hell, but to anyone on the ground, this is a super hell because a dropped rock or angry cat from that far up is dignity and life ending in a hilarious manner. Explosions rain upon Laputa, and yet as the last scene rolls you see that the island still manages to stay afloat, reminding you that evil can never truly be destroyed.