Visual White Noise Theater: “Haunted School/Gakko No Kaidan” (1995)

So you go into the abandoned wing of your Japanese school, you hear strange knocks and howls. What do you do next? So do you turn around and walk out the door, turn to page 15 or do you go and investigate the strange noises, turn to page 63. If it were me I would turn to page 15 but none of these kids will do this.

So first the sister of one of the characters goes into the abandoned wing and becomes lost, her brother comes looking for her and some of the bad kids are in there where their not supposed to be because that is what bad movie kids do. Their teacher comes looking for them and all hell breaks, a giant girl chases them, a hairy demon with Slimer’s personality makes fun of them, skeletons, and dissected frogs jump at them.

This is a kid’s movie, make no mistake about it. One of my friends called it a cross between “Ghostbusters” and “Goonies”, of course I’d say its more of a “Goosebumps” type tale, the effects, ghosts and monsters were top notch. Damn I really enjoyed this movie, most kids movies I have watched are boring and too sentimental, this one balances the horror with sentiment perfectly.

The movie was done by Toho, the giants who helped push Godzilla into our collective consciousness. This will stomp around in your head like that overgrown lizard. You can watch this with your kids if your kids don’t get bored with sub titles. There was moments that made me laugh, made me sad, made me jump and made me roll my eyes, the eye rolling was kept to a minimum. Apparently this made a lot of yen at the Japanese box office back in the day, 2.55 billion to be exact which is 19 mill in US today’s money.

So in closing to find this baby on DVD you’ll have to go to Japanese amazon and ebay. If you don’t want to go through the trouble, go here:

Good luck and don’t go into any abandoned school wings where a girl drowned in a pool or else you’ll get eaten by oversized janitor man insects.