Hotel Transylvania: A Review

After we thought we missed this one already, my bro, his girlfriend and I were psyched to find out that this animated feature was still showing at the SM Mall of Asia yesterday, two weeks after its original release. Whether or not we were entirely satisfied with this Sony Pictures release (voiced by an all star comedic cast) is another thing altogether.

Adam Sandler lends his voice to the lead character Dracula, a vampire who believes that every human is evil and tries his best to shelter his daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) from their judgment and nastiness. In order to do so, he builds a castle so deeply entrenched in a dark horrific location, enchanted so that no man could possibly penetrate it, for monsters to have a place to be themselves without being endangered by humans. Things start to go south when a backpacker named Johnny (Andy Samberg) manages to get into the hotel and threatens the secrecy of their operation and Mavis falls for the guy.

The plot was pretty simple. A widowed vampire loses his wife to the pettiness of humans, and becomes overprotective of his beloved daughter who wants to explore life outside the castle — the same daughter who falls in love with the very species whom he detests. The film is filled with gags about every cliche that even came out about monsters and to this end, it was very entertaining.

There were really funny parts, provided by the combined powers of Kevin James (Frankenstein), the Invisible Man (David Spade), Steve Buscemi (Wayne the Werewolf), Molly Shannon (Wanda, Wayne’s wife), Ceelo (Murray the Mummy) and Fran Drescher (Eunice aka Mrs. Frankenstein) and there were a lot of hilarious stuff happening mostly in the background (can’t miss it). But the problem I, think was that the movie was generally too long, so much that the momentum established by the moments of pure mirth are lost by the amount of dialogue in between the salient parts of the movie. It seemed as if there were too many moments dedicated to explaining why Drac was so disgusted by humans when it was obvious from the beginning that it had something to do with the love of his life Martha (incidentally voiced by his real wife Jackie).

There were parts that I loved, and parts that almost put me to sleep — a bad sign for any kiddie movie, but all in all, I would say that Hotel Transylvania is bordering on average. Not outstanding, but not a complete waste of time either. Too bad as the film had a lot of potential. I blame it on the writing.