Follow TV Tropes


Western Animation / Scooby-Doo! and the Curse of the 13th Ghost

Go To

Scooby-Doo! and the Curse of the 13th Ghost is the 29th movie in the Scooby-Doo direct-to-DVD movie lineup released on February 5, 2019, and serves as a continuation of The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo. After one of their investigations results in the harassment of an innocent man, Mystery Incorporated is forced into retirement. While selling their inventory at a garage sale, a crystal orb belonging to Shaggy and Scooby is found in their belongings and Vincent Van Ghoul has been trying to contact them for the last several months! He urges the Gang to come to the Himalayas to deal with a threat that has gone unresolved for a long time the thirteenth ghost of the Cursed Chest of Demons.

Here is the trailer.

Tropes Associated with the Movie:

  • 10-Minute Retirement: The Gang retire from solving mysteries after accusing an innocent man and getting a lecture from law enforcement, but get pulled into action again due to a garage sale customer finding Vincent Van Ghoul's crystal ball.
  • Adaptation Expansion: An extended history of the chest of demons is given here. They were caught the first time apparently by King Solomon. They were then discovered by Vincent Van Ghoul and Mortifer in his tomb and were accidentally released. Vincent and Mortifer captured all 13 again and Vincent put it into the temple in the Himalayas until Scooby and Shaggy opened it once again.
    • The 13th ghost Asmodeus is revealed to be an ancestor of Vincent Van Ghoul himself that turned bad and became a demon. Both this and the above providing motivations for Vincent's help in the original series that weren't ever shared before.
  • Age Lift: Flim-Flam has returned to the series and has aged up. He lampshades his older appearance by stating he was long overdue for a growth spurt.
  • Arch-Enemy: Both Vincent and Asmodeus have a history of being related to one another with Vincent being ashamed of his ancestor. Though Mortifer ends up becoming this when his "Scooby-Doo" Hoax is revealed.
  • Art Evolution:
    • Daphne's and Shaggy's eyes are colored purple and blue, respectively.
    • The Chest of Demons has been redesigned, with the face on it now being smaller, rounder and less angular.
  • Audience Surrogate: Fred and Velma were absent from The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo, so the other characters have to fill them in on the events of the show. In effect, this makes them representative of viewers of the film who aren't familiar with The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo.
  • Big Bad: Asmodeus, the king of demons and the titular 13th ghost. Returning him to the Chest of Demons is the main focus of the plot.
  • Big Red Devil: The 13th, and final, ghost of the Cursed Chest of Demons, Asmodeus, has horns, is red, and has wings.
  • Broad Strokes: Hanna-Barbera continuity strikes again in this film pretty hard. The events of The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo took place but some changes were made as such saying that the gang are still close to being teenagersnote , and that Fred and Velma were away at camp. Velma retains her absolute skepticism of ghosts which interestingly enough given this is the second film in a row with a Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island reference which was revealed to have been given a similar Broad Strokes Retcon in Scooby-Doo: Return to Zombie Island.
  • Cerebus Retcon: Shaggy and Scooby's Cowardly Lion nature gets this. At one point Shaggy lampshades how he and Scooby are terrified of every monster they've encountered despite it always being a crook in a costume or a hoax: They've met actual ghosts, so of course the two are gonna be scared of encountering real monsters.
    • Plus, in The Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show, Shaggy and the dogs frequently encounter actual monsters and aliens when not with the rest of the gang.
  • Chekhov's Gag: Fred tries to cheer Velma on by spelling her name. We later find out that this is because he went to cheerleading camp.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Bogel and Weerd are the only ghosts from the original series to not be seen or referenced in this movie.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Velma is firm in her belief that ghosts and the supernatural aren't real, which has become a core character trait since Scooby-Doo! Frankencreepy.
    • The set up that Scooby nearly had a nervous breakdown from the events of 13 Ghosts is actually a followup to the original show given two episodes "Ship of Ghouls" and "It's A Wonderful Scoob" have him going through trauma over the experience.
    • The new added backstory of Vincent having captured the ghosts before now adds new meaning to the words of Nekara and Rankor in the original series. Nekara had mentioned she and Vincent used to date and Rankor tried to turn Vincent Van Ghoul to stone for revenge. Both of these being tied to when he put them in the chest for the second time.
    • When Daphne sees the case of Lotsa Luck Joy Juice, she pulls Flim Flam into a Smooch of Victory. He did use it, after all, to save her from a bout of lycanthropy.
    • Daphne has a framed photo of her and the gang catching the Moat Monster from Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island.
  • Continuity Porn: Various props from the Gang's many investigations appear at the garage sale. From Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! we see the Black Knight costume, the Space Kook costume, The Ape Man costume, The Indian Witch Doctor mask, The Werewolf (from Who's Afraid of a Big Bad Werewolf) mask and the Ghost Clown mask. From The New Scooby-Doo Movies there is one of the Shark Men costumes. From Chill Out, Scooby-Doo! is the Yeti mask. Even before the crystal ball from The 13 Ghosts of Scooby Doo is revealed Vincent's hand of glory esque stand for his is also visible on the table.
  • Cool Car: Daphne brings the red van back in style and boy can it do some neat tricks.
    • The monstrous car that shoots green flames also is pretty cool. This is revealed to be Mortifer's ride, which means it's not a ghost but is not clear if it's remote controlled or a AI kind of invention, an evil Speed Buggy if you will.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Daphne and her van. Fred can't help but feel jealous.
  • Determinator: Fred never gives up and Daphne sees this as why he's The Leader of the gang. In the Darkest Hour, he gives a huge Rousing Speech that motivates the group
  • Driving Stick: The red van is depicted with a manual transmission in this movie, and Fred, like in some other incarnations, is incapable of operating it and lets Daphne drive. He eventually figures it out with Velma's help near the end.
  • Evil Laugh: Vincent still has one and he's one of the good guys.
  • Evil Redeemed in a Can: Asomad van Ghoul had spent so long imprisoned in the Chest of Demons that he reformed, and disippated peacefully after aiding Vincent van Ghoul, his descendant, keep the Chest out of evil hands.
  • Faking the Dead: Mortifer Quinch appeared to have perished after he and Vincent put Asmodeus back into the Chest of Demons, but it's eventually revealed that he actually used an illusion of his demise to throw off Vincent when he's unmasked as impersonating Asmodeus to get the Chest of Demons.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: Velma spends the entire film refusing to believe in ghosts and such. She seems to subverted it by the final act but since it was revealed to be Mortifer instead of Asmodeus, she states she's back to this. Arguably subverted by the end when Velma was too nervous to open the real Chest of Demons when Fred wonders if she's wrong.
  • Foreshadowing: Albeit retroactively applied; Asmodeus's face is the basis of the demonic face on the Cursed Chest of Demons itself.
    • Shaggy jokes that a painting of Vincent doesn't look a thing like him. It's not him, it's his ancestor.
    • At first Daphne gives the red van a highly technical designation and during the first chase its systems are demonstrated. Later, before Flim-Flam's identity is confirmed, he refers to it the same way and is familiar with those systems.
    • When Velma asks if Flim-Flam ever sold one of his Chest of Demons coolers, he states only one. Turns out Shaggy was the one who bought it and the chest the gang and Mortifer was fighting over was that cooler.
  • Fully Absorbed Finale: This movie was billed as a finale of The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo, but wrapped into the DTV movie series. However that may not be exactly the case by the end scenes...
  • The Ghost: The flashback sequences curiously leave out Scrappy-Doo, though he is still mentioned by Flim Flam.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Asmodeus is retroactively this for The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo, being the last of the demons and their king who remained at large while the others were more active in dealing with Mystery Inc. Of course if Velma's lie is right, Asmodeus already repented and instead watched over Vincent instead of causing trouble.
  • I Choose to Stay: Flim Flam rejects the offer to join Vincent and Mystery Inc on a transatlantic flight, stating that he is going to spread the tale of Asmodeus.
  • Jerkass Ball: Velma's insisting that ghosts aren't real and that her friends are being foolish for believing in them makes her come off as more smug and condescending than usual.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Fred and Velma are completely confused about Shaggy, Scooby, and Daphne having apparently gone up against demons, which reflects well on people who would likely be unaware of the period where Fred and Velma were Out of Focus.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: Because Scooby suffered a breakdown from experiencing real ghosts, Daphne and Shaggy decided to never speak of their time hunting down the 13 ghosts ever again. Unfortunately, the 13th ghost's attack made them go back on that.
  • The Load: Part of the reason for Fred's discomfort throughout the film is he worries that with Daphne being the leader, he's worthless.
  • Lock-and-Load Montage: Daphne, Shaggy and Scooby go through one. Whereas Daphne dons more adventurous gear, Shaggy and Scooby are decked out in an assortment of sports equipment.
    Velma: What are you two wearing?
    Shaggy: Not nearly enough!
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Fred and Velma had no clue about Shaggy, Scooby, and Daphne's adventures in The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: This movie plays with this trope quite a bit. Velma who is regularly the skeptic takes a hardline cynic approach to this movie trying to find a logic explanation on everything, however none of the other characters seem to as agreeing.
    • In the end when Mortifer is captured, Vincent sees what he thinks is a cloud formation of his ancestor. Velma offers an explanation that maybe after all his time in the chest of demons he learned the error of his ways and now can rest in peace with his name redeemed. Shaggy however just thinks it was a cloud of dust. However after this Flim Flam questions Velma and she admits she doesn't believe it and just made that up. Making it unclear if the 13 ghost is really redeemed or still at large.
    • There's also the fact what looks to be Asmodeus appears not after his imposter is unmasked nor captured, but after an avalanche stops his chase. The gang had worried the car would cause an avalanche but the appearance right after it may imply Asmodeus did it himself. Further raising the question if he's redeemed and moved on or if he was keeping his distance to avoid going back in the chest.
    • The final scene plays with this trope, twists it, turns it, inverts it, subverts it, and kicks it until it runs screaming, as it features Velma rattling off a long list of "rational" explanations for not just the most recent adventure but all of Scooby-Doo, Shag, and Daph's time with Vincent... all of which are extremely flimsy (for instance, she states that the entirety of the 13 Ghosts series was a high-altitude hallucination, even though only the first episode was in the Himalayas) and none of which the rest of the gang buy. The impression is less that there is an actual in-universe mystery, but that Velma desperately wants there to be one so she doesn't have to admit "magic" is likely the correct answer.
  • Missed the Call: The 13th Ghost has been a problem for the past several months and Van Ghoul has been trying to contact Shaggy, Scooby, and Daphne ever since, but their crystal orb got buried in their stuff when they thought the job was done and they forgot about it until a customer finds it at the garage sale.
  • Mythology Gag: Enough for its own page.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Mortifer Quinch's voice is a clear Peter Lorre impression. Of course this isn't the first time Nolan North has voiced a character with a Peter Lorre voice.
  • Not a Mask: After capturing Farmer Morgan at the start, the gang attempts to unmask him, only to find he's not wearing a mask.
    Shaggy: Looks like this ghost went a little heavy with the spirit gum! (laughs with Scooby)
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Shaggy, Scooby, and Daphne's reactions when a customer finds Vincent Van Ghoul's crystal orb in their inventory, bringing back memories of the Cursed Chest of Demons. And it turns out that Van Ghoul has been trying to call them for the past several months because the thirteenth Ghost is still out there.
    • A hilarious one is when Fred realizes that Shaggy is the one piloting the jet they're currently riding in. He just quietly walks back to his seat and puts on his seatbelt.
    • Flim Flam looks in horror when Velma mentions 13 Ghosts.
  • One Degree of Separation: Velma and Fred don't realize that they've been talking with Flim Flam until the final act.
  • Only in It for the Money: While Vincent as an actual warlock who helped recapture the demons out of his taking the situation seriously, Mortifer a stage magician only really saw the chest of demons as an insanely rare artifact he could get rich off by selling.
  • Power Nullifier: Vincent Van Ghoul is unable to perform magic when near Asmodeus. This is never really explained in-universe but one could suspect the baggage of this ghost being related to him as well as remembering the last round with Asmodeus that lead to Vincent believing his best friend died are causing Vincent some magical PTSD.
    • If you want to throw Velma's skepticism a bone, maybe Vincent never could do magic. This film loves its ambiguity.
  • Refusal of the Second Call: Shaggy and Scooby really don't want to go back and deal with their real ghost problem, but they're forced to anyway.
  • Reluctant Retiree: Mystery Incorporated is forced into one after one of their investigations leads into them accusing an innocent man, causing the sheriff to give a heads-up on how future screw-ups could lead to pressed charges or jailtime, as well as administer an ultimatum for the gang to stop investigating. Shaggy and Scooby welcome it, but once they find Van Ghoul's crystal orb again, though, this doesn't last.
  • The Resenter: Very downplayed with Fred. Due to Daphne stepping up as The Leader, he's obviously uncomfortable about it and does minor little digs at her here and there but they aren't mean spirited. Of course when Daphne starts doubt herself, he does a 180 and gives her a rousing speech.
  • Running Gag: Once again, misfortune befalls the Mystery Machine. In Frankencreepy, it got blown up. Now, Fred is forced to sell it.
  • "Scooby-Doo" Hoax: The demon we follow through the movie is actually not Asmodeus King of the Demons but Vincent Van Ghoul's old partner Mortifer. He wanted the chest of demons as an artifact after all these years tried to get it. When his plans fail though, we are left with a Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane situation with several different intrepretations.
  • Sequel Hook: By the end of the film, Asmodeus is still out there, albeit speculated to now be harmless, leading to the possibility of a followup.
    • Fred also implies they may not have been wrong in the first place regarding the opening mystery.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The first glimpse of the demon Asmodeus shows him in darkness and posing with crossed arms, making him resemble Chernabog from Fantasia.
    • "Asmodeus" is the name of a demon from the series Supernatural, which just did a crossover episode with Scooby-Doo the previous year before this film.invoked
    • The demonic black car without a (visible) driver that attacks the group is like The Car.
  • Skeptic No Longer: Velma admits to Flim-Flam she was happier when she didn't believe in ghosts. But she rebukes this by the end still believing none of the events she witnessed were real. Much to the amazement of everyone else present.
  • Smooch of Victory: Daphne pulls Flim-Flam into a full-out snog towards the end.
  • Spell My Name with an S: There is debate on the name of the 12th ghost from "Horror-scope Scoob". The DVD of the original series named him Simbooloo. (We know the dvd was accurate on Reflector Specter's name as it was no where in the actual episode). This movie and the recent Scooby Doo encyclopedia have gone with Zimbulu.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • After fifty years, Mystery Inc. was bound to get one wrong eventually. And as they're just meddling kids without any legal law enforcement (or even private investigator) credentials, the sheriff warns the gang how the law will come down extra hard on them if another screw-up happens in their adult years as well as give his own ultimatum. The potential legal issues force the gang to reconsider and quit.
    • The gang's reaction to said forced retirement is also a good show of their thoughts on it. Fred and Velma, who loved the thrill and intellectual challenge, are the most disheartened. Daphne is more ambivalent due to her being in danger so much. Shaggy and Scooby, who hated the dangerous antics and only stuck with it out of concern for their friends, take to retirement with gusto.
    • Because of Scooby suffering a breakdown, Daphne and Shaggy decide to end their hunt for the escaped ghosts before completing the capture of all 13. As Fred points out to her, they didn't consider that leaving this unfinished business alone might come back at some point in their lives.
    • Scooby having had a nervous breakdown makes perfect sense when in episodes like "It's a Wonderful Scoob", he was forced to relive every horrifying moment of his life and in "Ship of Ghouls", Bogel and Weerd specifically attempted to murder him in a moment of vulnerability via fear-induced heart attack. It's no wonder Shaggy and Daphne agreed to keep quiet after that.
    • During Daphne, Vincent, Shaggy, and Scooby's wild snow sliding down the mountain, Vincent groans in aches and pains as the whole thing is too much for someone his age to endure.
  • Tempting Fate: Shaggy states that he's glad that there's no more unfinished business in regards to ghosts or mysteries. And then someone wishes to buy Vincent Van Ghoul's crystal orb...
  • Title Drop: Unsurprisingly, Vincent Van Ghoul delivers, "Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!?"
  • Unfinished Business: What kickstarts the movie; the buyer who brings out Vincent Van Ghoul's crystal ball dig up bad memories from Daphne, Shaggy and Scooby...not helping that the 13th Ghost is still out there.
  • Wham Line: Those familiar with The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo will be shocked with this.
    Vincent: I found the 13th Ghost!
  • Wham Shot: Coupled with the line, but the Oh, Crap! Moment with Daphne, Shaggy and Scooby and seeing Vincent Van Ghoul's face in the crystal ball!
    • An older Flim-Flam is shown interacting with Fred and Velma.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Fred can't drive a stick shift here. Scooby-Doo! Moon Monster Madness revealed that the Mystery Machine is a stick shift.
  • Would You Do It For A Scooby Snack?: Played with. Daphne tells Fred to do this with Shaggy and Scooby, but Shaggy has to tell Freddy on how to "haggle" correctly.