I wasn't really sure what to expect going into this one. Overall, I really liked it! Please note that this review will have spoilers, so if you have not had time to watch the film yet, I would recommend not reading this review until you do if you are looking to avoid spoilers.
The retcon of Coco Diablo being responsible for all the gang's costumes is interesting. I wouldn't want to just consider it official continuity for the entire franchise now, but I kind of think of it like Get a Clue. It works really well as a continuity on its own, but I don't think it really fits with the franchise. I liked the gang's plan for stopping Coco at the beginning of the film, but I feel it's a bit rushed. There's no real buildup where the viewer gets to be shocked like that amazing reveal at the end of "Wrath of the Krampus," it just kind of happens and then it's over with.
We have to get into the opening song next, because I got a really good laugh out that "no more ghouls and ghosts. Just helpin' folks!" line haha. I love that the gang is helping out Elias Kingston in the grocery store. How very wholesome of them lol.
I thought it was very interesting how Velma was crushing on Coco Diablo. It seems they were perhaps testing out what Velma plans to do in the kids' side of the franchise. From what little I've read online about fan reactions to the film, I do hope that there's not going to be some huge controversy about "omg Velma is a lesbian!" To be fair, Velma does not state she is a lesbian in this film; the film only confirms she is romantically interested in women. It does not retroactively say that her male love interests in the past did not happen, so it's also possible Velma is bi/pansexual as well. Regardless, it was neat they explored it here and I thought it was done in a very natural way.
The prison scene was quite intense. John Simms clearly has some anger issues if he has made a Scooby voodoo doll in prison and is poking it in the mouth haha. In the scene where the warden is shaking down Harry the Hypnotist, it looks as if the bars were so wide that the inmate could have fit through the bars. Speaking of that scene, the warden's veins showing in his arms as he's roughing up the inmate was an interesting thing to animate. Although the animation is rougher and more messy in this film than Guess Who was, I feel like it allowed for some interesting details to shine through, like the vein thing. I will say that all the snot jokes with Trevor were gross and unnecessary.
I really liked the villains, particularly the Misery Company. The fact that their guts and brains were exposed made them even creepier. Coco Diablo worked was as a villain too, and although I'm not always a huge fan of the "the heroes have to be helped by their old foe" type plots (because I feel they're often predictable), I thought it was done in a fun way here. I'll have to admit I did wonder for a moment if it actually was Coco when they were setting it up to look like it was undeniably her, so the fact that it was the warden was interesting. I love how happy-go-lucky the warden is about carrying out the plan, to the point of him kissing all the clues as he's leaving them. I think that's super cute lol. I also found it funny how he exclaimed "Hi Mystery Inc.!" in a goofy voice when he was caught. It was a shame that the one preview kinda ruined that reveal (although I did wonder briefly if it was Coco). I was also happy they included a more diverse selection of villains here, rather than just all Where Are You villains. It was interesting to see some New Scooby-Doo Mysteries villains that weren't even in costumes retconned.
I was interested by the fact they fell back on the "Scooby hates cats" plotline. I feel like they kind of use that trope when they want, but sometimes they drop it. And speaking of cats, it was cool they retconned the Catman. One retcon I was surprised about though was that we see Igor from "A Halloween Hassle at Dracula's Castle" among the inmates. That is a major retcon, since he was never arrested (in fact, the ghouls embraced what he did).
Just a random note, as I made quite a few of them as I watched the film, I would have been interested in knowing why Velma got detention lol.
Although I overall liked this movie, I LOVED how the last 20 minutes just divulged into random chaos. Random, absurdist humor is exactly my humor style, so it really worked for me.
I've talked in several posts about how I stan Sassy Fred, and we can now add Sassy Gators to my list of characters I stan for. I loved how those gators came up out of the sewer just to cross their arms and give the gang side-eye lol.
Although I am a cat lover, I didn't love Esteban, although the end had two great scenes with him. The fact that he had a cat computer was super funny. What I most liked though was Scooby rhetorically asking Esteban "do you like me?" to which after not speaking the entire movie, Esteban speaks in a deep voice and says "No!", but then they both agree that they don't like each other and shake hands haha.
I really liked Trevor's Mystery Machine design! One thing I will say though, I am getting a bit tired of "the Mystery Machine blows up" plots. They've done it in Return to Zombie Island, Happy Halloween, and now this one. I wasn't really that bothered by it here; I guess I'm just saying that I'm at the point where I feel like they've done enough of those and should perhaps give it a rest after this film.
I liked the bit with the prisoners escaping at the end. The "I know but this is a family movie!" comment from the Warden was funny. Given this information, I can only assume he was going to shout the f-bomb if it wasn't a family movie lol. It was really neat to see the gang wearing the classic monster costumes. I'm unsure why Captain Cutler believed it was the real ghost of Captain Cutler...you could even see Velma's face through the costume lol. It was cute how Fred wore his ascot over the Knight costume. Speaking of which, I have so much appreciation for Fred's casually saying "Hey Mr. Wickles! What a night for a knight!" It gives off such casual sass and I love it haha. Speaking of Sassy Fred, I also think the fact that the Mystery Machine rearview mirror reads "Objects in mirror are probably Fred Jones" also has major sassy vibes lol.
One plotline I felt they could have expanded upon more was Daphne questioning her role in the gang. I thought it could have been a good plotline, but they just mentioned it once towards the beginning and it's never brought up again until the end. I wish that plotline would have been developed more.
The fact that Trevor was actually a random surfer dude in a costume was hilarious. Definitely the kind of random humor I enjoy.
The one joke I didn't really enjoy, other than the snot jokes, was Scooby breaking the fourth wall to say "this whole franchise is named after me!" That's more of a personal preference than anything and I don't think the joke was objectively bad, but it felt a bit cringey to me.
I realize I'm sort of divulging into random comments now rather than giving a cohesive review, but I have some remaining notes. It was cool how the 10,000 Volt Ghost costume looks kind of like Phantom of Vasquez Castle when it is just the suit that's not powered on.
I've got a long comment to end us off here about that wishing well lol. First of all...where did Fred get that wad of cash?!? Secondly, I love how the ending is just Fred and the gang laughing nervously as they throw dollar bills down a wishing well. I genuinely don't think they could have thought of a weirder ending and I just adore it haha. I absolutely get why they did it, but I honestly think it would have been even slightly better if there was no monster eye at the bottom of the well. The ending should have just been the gang aimlessly throwing dollar bills down the well as they slowly have an existential crisis lol. It'd be dark, but also random and amusing as heck haha. I can't make a GIF since digital download sites don't allow screenshots, but somebody needs to make a GIF of that scene of them throwing dollar bills down the well as they nervously laugh, and caption it "Capitalism be like..." hahaha.
Anyway, that's my review for the film! I really enjoyed this film even a bit more than I thought, especially the last 20 minutes of it for its random chaos. I don't think this is what I would have expected when we first heard about the Trick or Treat project in August 2021, but I am very satisfied with what we got, even if it's the only Scooby movie or show we get this year (and it likely will be).
~ WildwindVampire ~