Sony Pictures Animation is celebrating the 10-year anniversary of its first feature, “Open Season”, by continuing the franchise with the enjoyably amusing, direct-to-DVD fourth installment – “Open Season: Scared Silly”.
Director David Feiss (the creator of “Cow and Chicken”) was head of story on the original “Open Season”. He nicely brings much of the high energy, and even some deleted plotlines, of that film, to “Scared Silly”. Elliot the mule deer tells his grizzly bear buddy, Boog, a spooky campfire story about the Wailing Wompus Werewolf – which instantly gives Boog nightmares. Elliot’s attempts to relieve Boog of his fears don’t go exactly as planned, as the evil hunter Shaw (now a wildlife tour guide) convinces the town sheriff to re-open “Open Season” so he can kill the Werewolf (which may or may not be real)…and maybe a certain deer and bear as well.
“Open Season: Scared Silly” doesn’t have the polish and sophistication of a big-budget theatrical release, but it makes up for it with a positive tone and screenplay freedom, which allows for some wild and entertaining scenes – including a very funny plane crash sequence and the performance of an operatic classic by the dachshund, Mr. Weenie, that must be seen to be believed.
“Scared Silly” is a little talky and geared primarily to a younger audience. But, as a big fan of the “Open Season” series for the past decade, I can’t deny that I smiled early and often watching Boog, Elliot, and all their forest friends in this latest adventure.
On The Official LCJ Report Card, “Open Season: Scared Silly” gets a B-.
Running Time: 84 min.