Recently, the fine fiends over at Warner Bros. Home Entertainment sent me a lil’ package via currier bat containing their latest entry in the venerable series of direct to home video Scooby-Doo movies; FRANKENCREEPY. So does this frightful flick deliver the ghoulish goods? Well, read on dear creeps!
As with most of these standalone Scooby-Doo releases, this creepy caper begins with a bit of revisionist history; the gang has not encountered any actual monsters in their past adventures (as in past direct-to-video releases), so when Velma and the gang head to Transylvania (albeit not the one in Europe…this one is located in Pennsylvania) to claim a cursed castle that she has inherited from her uncle, Dr. Von Dinkenstein, her entire world view is challenged as she discovers what may be actual monsters within the castle walls (weather that is the case or not I will not spoil here).
Now this movie has a ton of great things going for it such as a lush color palette and a true reverence for many of the tropes of the classic Universal Monster series aesthetic. The creature design is inspired, the voice cast (comprised of series vets Frank Welker and Grey DeLisle, as well as mainstays Mindy Cohn and Matthew Lillard) is fantastic, the dialog is well written and there are some call backs to the original show that will send older viewers right to those soothing waters of warm, sweet nostalgia. There are also tons of genuinely hilarious quick-cut style gags, and a running sub-plot that illustrates Fred’s truly disturbing (and really funny) obsession with the Mystery Machine.
But, all is not perfect, and one particular plot point may ruin the viewing experience for some; namely Daphne gets cursed and seemingly becomes what she most fears…overweight (they call her a size 8, but they draw her way, waaaayyyy bigger than that). While I understand that she is vain and shallow, and is presented as such, and the film does present the fact that her longtime (possible) love interest Fred didn’t notice any change and continued to find her beautiful, some viewers may take some umbrage with this portion of the story.
Before I wrap this review up, a special call-out needs to be made to the ultra-stylized opening credits; I would absolutely go crazy for an entire Scoob adventure rendered in this style!
So to sum it up, this is an extremely well-done new adventure for Scooby and the gang that is well worth your time if you are a lover of all things Scooby (as long as the misguided weight issue doesn’t completely turn you off).
You can pick-up a copy of SCOOBY-DOO! FRANKENCREEPY right here!