Scooby-Doo Return to Zombie Island is now out on DVD (through Walmart, until Oct 1, then everywhere), as well as digitally, and I have given it a watch. This review won’t be long like my episode reviews as I don’t want to give anything away. What I will say is that I loved this movie.
Before this movie came out, if you read comments on Reddit, Facebook, or Scooby Forums, there was a ton of negativity. People would see the DVD cover and complain. People watched the Trailer and complained. People were talking to people’s aunts first cousins, who went to the San Diego Comic-Con who watched the screener, who then complained.
People complaining on the Internet, weird, right? 🙂
I get the complaints, sort of. I understand Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island is beloved. It’s a well crafted Scooby-Doo movie, that broke the mould, and featured real baddies, with a dark overtone. I was 24 when it was released and on the internet reading forums. And back then what I remember most of all was PEOPLE COMPLAINING that it was too dark, the costumes were different, Scooby’s voice was all wrong, the monsters were real, and WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN!
My point is, people on the Internet are always complaining, and often speak out of irrational emotion. Pay no attention to them (or me for that matter). Form your own opinions; you’ll be happier.
The fact is Scooby-Doo, Return to Zombie Island is a movie for modern audiences and not a pale imitation of Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island that a lot of people complaining may have expected. It’s smart enough not to go back to the well, and give us a repeat of what we’ve already scene. It’s not trying to be Dumb and Dumber Too, Independence Day 2, The Force Awakens, or Zoolander 2, which just gave us more of the exact same thing, but more like what George A Romero’s Diary of the Dead was to Night of the Living Dead.
Scooby-Doo Return to Zombie Island has crisp animation, a brisk pace, creepy overtones, witty dialogue, and all the Scooby-Doo tropes you love. If Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island is Wes Craven’s Nightmare on Elm Street, then Scooby-Doo, Return to Zombie Island is Wes Craven’s Scream.
There are a ton of nods to the original Zombie Island. We’ve got similar villains, some similar characters, and a similar setting. But much like Scream self-referencing horror movie tropes, we find Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island self-referencing its source material. And I loved every second of it. It’s not all fun and gags here though either. There are some genuinely scary scenes that impressed the horror fiend in me.
Other Things I Loved
- The opening credits scene was amazing, with a “Tales from the Crypt” like score, and comic book style animation
- The surprise guest hostess cameo
- Past Villain Cameos
- Matthew Lillard voicing Shaggy
- The sharp dialogue
- The Twists and turns
- Reluctant Werewolf references
- Mystery Machine upgrade
- The flick had one little loose end that wasn’t tied up, that could hint at a sequel, but I wanted more!
- There are Zombies, but… they are used more for comedy than chills.
I give this movie an 8/10. Is it as cool, groundbreaking, and amazing as Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island? Not even close. Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island was lightening in a bottle. Is Scooby-Doo, Return to Zombie Island fun, entertaining, creative, and worth a watch? Heck yeah!