Presenting the Mystery Gang in a feature-length capacity is, in its glory days, a supremely good time. It is comfort food that preys on nostalgia and utilises the quickfire approach of the show, extending it to just over an hour of competent, engaging joy. Scooby-Doo and the Witch’s Ghost is a light and breezy affair, one that even my alcohol-paggered brain has some semblance of memory for. There is much love and leniency for this series of feature films, and those old VHS copies I used to own are out there in a trash heap somewhere. Who knows where they are, but I do know where my heart is. Right here, in the hands of director Jim Stenstrum. He helmed many of the nostalgic classics that many of my generation are fond of, and there is great reason for it.
A contrast of character is effective and necessary for any medium. Wirt (Elijah Wood) and Greg (Collin Dean) are brothers at war with one another, even if they do not notice it. From the immediate first scenes with them, the difference of tact and dissimilarity between the two is showcased. We have our struggle, and merely need to follow Over the Garden Wall through as it enchants its audience and paints a marvellous picture of brothers trying to make their way home. Their vain attempts at doing so are futile and fun at times, with some clear highlights shining through.
Before we explore the mysteries of the jungle, our technology will expand so far into the future that we’ll be able to arm Bruce Campbell with a laser capable of cutting through leaves and not much else. Congo is stupid, let us get rid of the idea that it could be anything more than that almost immediately. With that in mind, the Frank Marshall-directed piece must clamber to the right side of stupid, it must present effective, fun moments with gore and engaging characters. That is a hard task to manage, and the hilarity is prevalent even when it shouldn’t be. Such is the effect of our modern culture and the impact Tim Curry can have on a screenplay. Fear not, for Congo is now the cult classic we have all needed in our lives, it is a necessary, big-budget car crash that finds solace in its unintentional humour and aversion to science.
Perhaps it’s a bit too early to gear up for Christmas. I’ve already finished my Christmas shopping, and now it’s just a matter of sitting around, waiting for that inevitable day of binge-eating, binge-drinking, and binge-watching. A festival of binge-induced poor decisions, and the one day of the year where we don’t have to feel bad about overconsumption. There are, of course, traditions for this time of year. We all have them, and my old tradition of viewing Home Alone 2: Lost in New York whilst my parents did the washing up, will have to come to an end. Not just because I’ll have to dry the dishes this year, but also because, in a feverish state of illness, I decided to watch it extremely early. Christmas has unofficially begun, and there’s no turning back now.