Please note that this review does contain spoilers!
So I really loved this film! I'm super glad I decided to just pick up a DVD copy while I was at the store today, and cancel the pre-order which I think I had mentioned in one of the comment sections that I was originally going to wait for. I think this is the best Scooby film we've gotten in years, and was a breath of fresh air after Curse of the 13th Ghost and Return to Zombie Island.
The mystery felt very cinematic to me, and I enjoyed the inclusion of The Scarecrow much more than I thought I would. Even though he wasn't a main villain, he provided a great setup for introducing the living pumpkins. Surprisingly, I really enjoyed that so much of the movie was the pumpkins pursuing the gang. I think it could have been done in a very boring way, but the constant presence of the pumpkins made it creepier!
I loved all the old references to previous Scooby and Hanna-Barbera material as well. Between a Frankenstein Jr. float, a kid dressed as Blue Falcon, a Phyllis Diller mention, a Fred Flintstone costume, RED HERRING(!), and the Ghost of the Three Stooges, it really felt like a lot of love was put into this film. Am I the only one who would have liked to see the ghosts of the Three Stooges mystery though? I feel like that would have been really cool haha.
I'm not sure if this was just my Scooby-oriented brain creating references that weren't there, but did those two vampire statues when Shaggy and Scooby went in the corn maze look like Dracula from "A Halloween Hassle at Dracula's Castle" to anyone else? It sure did to me.
We also got a reference to Fred's middle name, Herman, which is the first time it's been mentioned 15 years since Aloha, Scooby-Doo! from 2005!
One thing I really did not like in this film was the use of 60s bubblegum pop music during the chase scenes. I know they're trying to beckon back to Where Are You with that, and they did it in Return to Zombie Island too, but it just seemed out of place to me and I hope it doesn't happen again.
The one other big thing in this film is Daphne's personality is much more quirky and reminiscent of her Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! personality. I thought it was interesting Daphne wanted to become Elvira too, as Elvira kinda seems more gothy than "in-fashion" to me...so this version of Daphne wants to be a goth I guess? I'm here for it.
Speaking of Elvira, I thought her and Bill Nye fit in really well. They did not seem forced at all as guest stars, and I thought both of them definitely had roles to play in this film.
I also was shocked that the sheriff was the villain! That was such a cool twist and I loved it!
Overall, this film was an amazing Halloween movie that I will definitely be watching every year from now on around this time of year. This film is like SDMI and BCSD had a baby, and it's amazing. It's got a much darker tone that more recent films/series, but it also is pretty silly in some parts. Was this better than Goblin King? I love Goblin King so much, so it would be very hard to top that film. I think this comes close, but it's good in a different way from Goblin King. Goblin King is this very idealistic, magical film to me whereas this one is darker but also very cinematic in quality. I would highly recommend this film!
To conclude this review, I have to end it the same way the film did...so Elvira's hair is just a monkey? Hahaha