Halloween Countdown: Scooby Doo

Director: Raja Gosnell
Writing:   James Gunn
                Craig Titley
Starring: Matthew Lillard
                Freddie Prinze Jr.
                Sarah Michelle Gellar
                Linda Cardellini
                Rowan Atkinson
                Isla Fisher
                Neil Fanning
                Scott Innes
Rating:    ***

My last Halloween countdown focused on my favourite horror movies from the past; this year I thought I would go towards the family friendly Halloween. I am going to countdown 5 family Halloween films, from worst to best.

Scooby Doo & Matthew Lillard
When Scooby Doo came out it was before remakes and reboots were as common in the film industry as they are today; I guess you could say this is one of the films that started it. Now as a child watching this when it first came out, I can happily say that I thought this re-imagining of the ghost hunting team was hilarious and I was obsessed with it, however re-watching it as an adult, I now see the many flaws in it's midst.

After a ghost hunt causes a rift between the friends, The Mystery Inc. gang go their separate ways and end up being apart from each other for 2 years. That is until they each receive an invitation to famous theme park, Spooky Island. When they all turn up at the airport it soon becomes they were all invited, and they must re-team to solve the mystery of a theme park that effects it's visitors in a weird way. Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and Scooby (Prinze Jr., Gellar, Cardellini, Lillard & Fanning) soon realise that the must co-operate in order to save their fellow thrill sneakers from impending doom.

The cast all do a terrific job at portraying their individual characters and bringing their cartoon counterparts to life. Cardellini is plenty nerdy and full of smarts as Velma, Prinze Jr. is the perfect arrogant and chauvinistic Fred and Gellar is every bit the damsel in distress that Daphne always was. The stand out however is Lillard as Shaggy, and his work was so good, he now voices the cartoon series. He fully envelopes the character he is playing, and is as barmy and off the wall as he needs to be with his animated buddy, Scooby Doo.

Sarah Michelle Gellar
The issue I see with it now is that the humour is very dated and often falls flat with the older audience members. They rely too heavily on the old fashioned sexist views towards Velma and especially Daphne and it soon becomes dull and predictable. As a child, I never noticed this and would always laugh along with the excitable hi-jinx that were happening up on that screen.

This Scooby Doo is full of plenty of ghouls and spooky moments to keep the young ones thrilled, and was always perfect for Halloween. It also is jam paced with little Easter eggs and cameos from past Scooby Doo adventures to try and please the fans of theoriginal (though it didn't work). It is just really dated now, and frankly does little to impress or entertain me anymore. That being said, this is a film for children, and as a child I loved it; it clearly does its job, but unlike many family films that are enjoyable for all ages...this is unable to hit the spot.

Scooby Doo - Trailer