Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster

Movie review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster Movie Poster Image
Fun live-action flick is too scary, mature for young kids.
  • PG
  • 2011
  • 85 minutes

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 11 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

The show clearly aims to entertain rather than to educate, but the story does include some surprisingly positive messages about friendship, communication, and teamwork.

Positive Messages

The mystery gang is a model of teamwork, and every member plays the hero role at some point during the movie. Some potty humor, including a scene of Scooby preparing to lift his leg on a dresser in his room, and one of the lake monster vomiting the slimy contents of his stomach.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Overall the teens are a good bunch and form a productive team despite their vastly different personalities. The show’s discourse on relationships emphasizes how different they are (Fred and Daphne disagree on the seriousness of their relationship, for instance), but a high point of the movie is the maturity with which the four teens resolve this lingering -- and potentially uncomfortable --  issue at the story’s end.

Violence & Scariness

Violent content is limited to a brief fistfight and some slapstick-style bumps and falls. However, the characters’ perilous situations make for some scary moments. A slobbering lake monster is shown growling into the camera multiple times, and multiple occasions find him in pursuit of -- and sometimes nabbing -- Scooby and his friends. There’s mention of a witch being burned at the stake, a character is possessed by an evil spirit, and in one scene, Fred and Daphne are locked in a boat that’s being sunk in an apparent attempt on their lives.

Sexy Stuff

A subplot explores developing love interests between Fred and Daphne, and Shaggy and Velma. Each relationship is mostly innocent -- and punctuated with one kiss apiece -- but problems arise when Fred wants to “play the field” and Daphne’s ready for something more serious. Both parties are shown flirting with other teens, which sparks jealousy in the one left out. In one scene, the characters sing a song about wanting to “spoon.” In another, Fred walks around shirtless.


The movie is part of a huge franchise that includes multiple animated series and a host of other movies (both animated and live action), as well as nearly every conceivable toy, game, and accessory. The story concludes with the mystery gang renaming themselves “Mystery Incorporated,” which is also the name of the most recent installment in the Scooby cartoons.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie’s live-action style makes all of the content more realistic than kids will be used to from the cartoons, so the multiple monster scenes and frequent perilous situations ensure it’s not for the very young. What’s more, the relationships developing among the characters prompt some discussions about dating that are more suitable for teens than kids, though the movie’s overall silliness makes it a hard sell for these older viewers. That said, those aficionados who can take this latest addition to the Scooby franchise will enjoy the actors’ efforts to bring these characters to life almost as much as they’ll like the humorous references to the original cartoons themselves.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byRoznar July 27, 2012
Parent of a 8-year-old Written bydad of two March 24, 2011

Terrible movie.

Terrible movie. Instead of solving a mystery, the characters focused more on dating.
Kid, 11 years old December 23, 2020
Teen, 13 years old Written byant235711 January 1, 2015

What's the story?

SCOOBY DOO! CURSE OF THE LAKE MONSTER follows Fred (Robbie Amell), Daphne (Kate Melton), Velma (Hayley Kiyoko), Shaggy (Nick Palatas), and Scooby (voiced by Frank Welker) to their summer jobs at the Erie Pointe Country Club, where their arrival coincides with the reappearance of the area’s legendary lake monster. Not only is the monster terrorizing the locals, he’s also threatening the patrons of the country club itself, much to the dismay of the club’s owner, Daphne’s uncle Thornton Blake V (Ted McGinley). Not surprisingly, the gang jumps at the chance to unravel the secrets behind the mystery, but this time the clues point a little closer to home than they’re used to.

Is it any good?

CGI truly is a modern marvel to make movies like this a possibility, seamlessly blending live and generated images into a nearly believable visual experience. Unfortunately for this movie, though, this conjured reality makes for much scarier content throughout, so despite its ties to cartoons young kids might be watching, it’s not a good option for them.

What’s more, the subplot revolving around budding love between Fred and Daphne and Shaggy and Velma raises some content that’s not really suitable even for young tweens. Fred and Daphne are misled about each other’s commitment to their relationship, and their uncertainty confuses Shaggy, who turns to them for guidance about his own feelings for Velma. All is not lost, however, since the friends take a mature approach to the inevitable resolution at the show’s end and prove that they value their friendship above everything else.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about mysteries. How are mysteries solved in real life? What kinds of experts play a role in unraveling clues? In what ways does this movie oversimplify that process?

  • Tweens: What did you think about the relationships that were depicted in the story? Did the characters’ worries resonate with you? How have your experiences with boys or girls compared to what they went through? To whom can you turn for guidance on issues like these?

  • How well did the characters transfer from animation to the live-action and CGI style of this movie? What, if anything, was lost in the change? Was anything about this movie improved over the cartoon series? Have you seen any other movies that brought animated characters to life? What did you think about them?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love mysteries

Themes & Topics

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