Scooby-Doo and the team gather again to solve the mystery of gigantic proportions and save Crystal Cove.Scooby-Doo and the team gather again to solve the mystery of gigantic proportions and save Crystal Cove.Scooby-Doo and the team gather again to solve the mystery of gigantic proportions and save Crystal Cove.
The good news is 'Happy Halloween Scooby Doo' is an improvement over 'Return to Zombie Island'. The not so good news is that it is still not too great and a long way off from being one of the best Scooby Doo films (towards the lesser end in this regard and of all the franchise's Halloween-themed outings). The atmosphere is great and there are a fair share of good things, but the story could have been a lot stronger and one aspect particularly irritated me greatly. Am not surprised that the opinions have been fairly polarising here.
'Happy Halloween Scooby Doo' does look great on the animation front. Absolutely loved the look of the Jack-o-Lanterns, some very imaginative visuals on them. The music had groove and atmosphere and didn't sound outdated or out of place. The voice acting is much better here than it was in 'Return to Zombie Island', nobody overdoes it and nobody sounds bored. Although Matthew Lillard has still got it as Shaggy, Dwight Schultz effectively makes one suitably uneasy and Bill Nye was quite fun, my favourite turn came from Cassandra Peterson.
Elvira was also my favourite character here and loved how she had a bigger role and an active one. Kind of like a female Vincent Van Ghoul, except without as much Edgar Allen Poe-inspired dialogue. Nye may strike some as irrelevant, personally found him very entertaining and he was useful especially later on. The van is very cool and made me want to have one. Shaggy and Scooby are endearingly goofy as usual and Velma, though too domineering, more tolerable than she was in 'Return to Zombie Island'. A very nice job is done with the Halloween setting, which was suitably spooky, and the film actually does start off very well.
For all those good things, there were drawbacks. The story, with a thin as a wafer mystery, lacks momentum, due to having the feel of a 30 minute episode stretched to a film of just over twice that amount of time, and felt repetitive once the Jack-o-Lanterns were introduced and became a series of chases that weren't massively exciting, well actually on reflection it was one long chase that dominated the second half. The Jack-o-Lanterns are creepy and are imaginatively animated, but part of me wished that they had more to do. The denouement to me was a bit too convoluted and too out of nowhere, the perpetrator was a real surprise definitely but their plan was pretty complicated.
A good deal of the dialogue tends to be excessively silly and doesn't always flow well. Fred is very dull here and too much of a sappy spare part when it came to the mystery solving (which he did not do a lot of), it is hard to believe that this was the same character that was the leader of the gang in the earlier incarnations. Worst of all is Daphne, usually do not have a problem with her but here she is insufferably irritating and behaves in such a juvenile way with some very random and out of place slang phrases that were not hip at all.
Concluding, not too great but it was alright on the whole. 5/10
- Jan 20, 2021