sun 26/05/2019

Hotel Transylvania | reviews, news & interviews

Hotel Transylvania

Hotel Transylvania

Monsters made mushy in an animated romcom

Dracula with his daughter's human love interest, Jonathan

Through a haunted forest and entered by a secret doorway is Dracula's castle - but this isn't where virgins are deflowered by the Transylvanian count; rather it's where he, a widower, dotes on his daughter and runs a hotel for his his monster mates. Hotel Transylvania is where Frankenstein's Monster and his wife Eunice, Wayne and Wanda Werewolf, the Invisible Man and all manner of ghouls and ghosties go for their holidays to take refuge from those nasty humans outside.

It's a neat set-up in a screenplay written by Peter Baynham (who wrote the Arthur remake and has worked with Steve Coogan, Armando Iannucci and Chris Morris) and Robert Smigel. Dracula (voiced by Adam Sandler), who's really a bit of a softie, is overprotective of his daughter, Mavis (pictured below, voiced by Selena Gomez) and is planning a big party at the hotel when she reaches her 118th birthday when, he promises, he will finally allow her to go out into the wider world. But his plans to protect her from humans goes wrong when one of them, in the form of backpacker Jonathan (Andy Samberg) rocks up, having taken a wrong turn in the forest.

Mavis and Jonathan immediately click, which is bad enough for Dracula, particularly when Jonathan is a huge hit at her party, livening up the music and starting a massive pool party. Even the old man finds himself having fun with the young dude as they battle it out on tables that fly through the castle.

But Dracula's business will collapse if his paying guests detect a human in their midst, so the funny business begins as he tries first to disguise Jonathan as a monster (as a cousin of Frankenstein's Monster's left hand) and then to get him back into the human world. Nothing goes smoothly, of course, but helped by Wanda and Wayne (Steve Buscemi and Molly Shannon), Eunice and assorted monsters (who prove they're all suckers for a love story) Dracula finally manages to do the right thing.

Youngsters won't be frightened - the scenes where Dracula and Mavis transform themselves into bats to fly into the night are cute rather than scary - the monsters are all cute and there's enough goo and mayhem to keep them entertained, while the flying sequences are thrilling.

Adults, however, may find the story a little thin, even if the throwaway lines are often excellent; there's a very funny visual gag about Robert Pattinson's Twilight Saga series and a good running joke about backpackers.

The computer-generated characters look lovely (Eunice and Jonathan are particularly good) but I find them lacking in a certain warmth - indeed the old-style cartoon credits create a stark contrast – and the film's 3D (now an annoying ubiquity in animation) is curiously underused. But Sandler is terrific, Fran Drescher's Eunice a hoot and the film rattles along apace.

Dracula's business will collapse if his paying guests detect a human in their midst

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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Comments

"Robert Pattison's Twilight Saga"? Erm...since when is the saga credited to one of the actors. The poor sucker is already stuck acting in those wretched films, you're making it sound like he had a hand in creating that abomination.

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