Director – Ethan Spaulding
Cast – Frank Welker, Mindy Cohn, Matthew LIllard, Grey DeLisle, Dee Bradley Baker, Mark Hamill, Phil LaMarr, Scott Menville, Stephen Root, Tara Strong, Lauren Tom
Release Year – 2010
Reviewed by John of the Dead
No this is not a joke. If you did not grow up watching Scooby-Doo religiously, then you grew up knowing that countless other “cooler” people were watching Scooby-Doo religiously, and given the series’ constant basis on horror I figured it was about time someone in the horror review scene gave Scooby some credit. Sure this is defintely a kids watch and includes some ridiculous scenes that only the pre-teens of the 90s could fall for(kids are way too smart these days), but nonetheless Scooby-Doo! Camp Scare provides a nice flashback into the joy we received growing up with Scooby, and comes complimented with a sweet story and superb direction/visuals as well.
When Fred takes the Mystery Inc. gang out on a camping trip to the very camp he spent his summers at, Camp Little Moose, what was supposed to be a fun week in the great outdoors soon turns to terror when the creatures mentioned in ghost stories told around the campfire come to life. Faced with uncertain danger, the gang (minus the always-reluctant Shaggy and Scooby) decide to investigate the matter and find a logical explanation for the creatures and the secret they are protecting, a secret that comes with a dark past and haunting consequences.
If you go into this watch expecting the usual Scooby antics then you should be pleased with the end result. The storyline is not an original one per say, but it is one that I enjoyed given it put our characters in an isolated wooded area outside of their comfort zone, allowed for numerous hiding places for the antagonist(s), and came with the fun idea of fictional characters coming to life. I am glad that writer Jed Elinoff took the film’s simplicity into account and kept this film at a tight 72 minute runtime, never straying too far from the “horror” involve and throwing in some good laughs as well. This really feels like a long TV episode, just with appropriate amounts of each element to keep it from dragging. We get some pretty sweet creatures/villains thrown into the mix, and while the conclusion regarding them is the usual “twist” that tones down the horror and brings things to a logical explanation, the story was a fun one and kept me engaged and chuckling throughout.
While this is an animated film, it does come with superb direction that despite live-action execution provides an awesome visual experience for the viewer. The visual tone of the film is incredible, and definitely takes full advantage of the technology we possess in this day and age. We get perfect atmosphere that is dark and gloomy at all of the right times, and the camerawork(without a real camera) and editing is top notch and provides for an invigorating ride with heavy action even for an animated film. The look of the creatures was great as well, especially the axe-welding “Woodsman” who carried out most of the terrorizing in the fill . In the end, director Ethan Spaulding(“Avatar: The Last Airbender”) made this a fun and visually engaging watch, and delivered some positive horror for the type of film this is.
Overall, this is a fun watch that provides us horror fans with an experience sure to bring back awesome memories of growing up with Scooby-Doo & co. The storyline is a fun one and complimented with awesome visuals and direction this tight watch gives us lots of well-executed action and positive creatures to deliver the most horror such a film can deliver.