Film Review: ‘Hotel Transylvania’ Proves Hyper Isn’t Always Funny
CHICAGO – It was probably just a matter of time. With the current vampire craze dominating pop culture in flicks like “The Twilight Saga” and shows like “True Blood,” it was inevitable that creatures of the night be turned into family entertainment. Even “Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein” was recently released on Blu-ray and Universal is about to unleash a whole set of HD monster movie classics. Monsters are hip. “Hotel Transylvania” does its best to put a nail in that coffin.
With its manic style, hyperactive visuals, and 3rd-grade sense of humor, I was annoyed by “Hotel Transylvania” from the very beginning, and while the movie definitely improves as it goes along, it never completely won me back. The opening scenes of “Hotel Transylvania” are just loud, obnoxious, and filled with either gross-out jokes or repeated statement of the movie’s set-up to the point that even eight-year-olds will yell, “WE GET IT!”
|Read Brian Tallerico’s full review of “Hotel Transylvania” in our reviews section.|
That set-up that is repeated roughly 400 times is that monsters are more afraid of humans than the other way around. Over and OVER again, we hear about how Dracula (Adam Sandler) has created a safe haven for monsters to feel protected against the pitchfork and torch-wielding villagers. Dracula lives and runs the titular location, which basically serves as a protective bubble for his daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez), who Drac refuses to allow out into the real world. If you fell asleep after a double feature of “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” and “The Village,” you might dream this up. (Although that movie would be a lot more fun.)
Dear old daddy Drac decides to throw a massive party for Mavis on her 118th birthday. The occasion brings out all of Dracula’s buddies, including Frankenstein (Kevin James), his wife Eunice (Fran Drescher), a werewolf named Wayne (Steve Buscemi), the werewolf’s better half Wanda (Molly Shannon), Griffin the Invisible Man (David Spade), Murray the Mummy (CeeLo Green), and countless others. At the same time, a human named Jonathan (Andy Samberg) stumbles on the scene for the first time and not only disrupts Dracula’s overprotective party planning but falls in love with Mavis.
Photo credit: Sony Pictures