Review: Hotel Transylvania

Hotel Transylvania is the latest digital animation film from Sony Pictures Animation and is produced by – amongst others – Adam Sandler (who also voices Dracula) and has been written and adapted by five people. All these things I did not know before turning up to watch this film…not to mention that the cinema’s website failed to mention that it was the 3D showing and the robot projectionist decided that the screen was bigger than it actually was thus cutting around five feet from the top and bottom of the picture.

I was really looking forward to seeing this as the trailer made it look really funny and the premise of Dracula opening a hotel for monsters to go to get away from the humans who persecute them seemed to have so much potential. And for a while it seemed to be going in the right direction; the plot sets out that Dracula is building a hotel for all manner of mythical beasts to escape humans, more than that – it is for protecting his daughter, Mavis (Selena Gomez).

The first scene, where we are introduced to the vacationers, is really quite funny. We meet Frankenstein (Kevin James) and his wife, Wayne, the werewolf (Steve Buscemi) and his enormous family, Griffin, the invisible man (David Spade) and the rotund Murray the mummy (Ceelo Green). Everyone has turned up this year for Mavis’ 118th birthday celebration. However, everything is turned on its head when Johnaton, a human boy (Andy Samberg), turns up.

The problem I had with the film was this: It just wasn’t very funny. There were a couple of times that encouraged a snigger and one moment towards the end that was laugh out loud funny, it wasn’t just me either, there weren’t many laughs to be heard. I will say though  that it was a late screening, so there weren’t many children there and they are the target audience, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t still have jokes that work for adults and kids.

There were a couple of quite nice nods to classic horror films that these characters have been in before, but not enough to be completely knowing, rather like The Watch it seems to have been written by people who have no real passion for the subject matter. As the credits rolled I started to understand why and this was, as I mentioned earlier, that it was written by a team of people,which always lessens the quality of the script. Add to that the two songs awkwardly shoehorned in to show off the fact that Ceelo Green and one half of The Lonely Island just seemed unneccessary.

I do feel that this review could have been skewed by the poor projection and the 3D which really added nothing to the film, apart from a nice effect with little floaty flames at one point, and reduce the colours dramatically. But it still doesn’t change the fact that it wasn’t funny enough for a comedy. It would be interesting to have seen what Pixar could have done with this idea.

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3 Responses to “Review: Hotel Transylvania”

  1. And we thought our 3D glasses were dodgy…

  2. It’s pretty funny, but will do more good for kids, then it will for parents. Good review.

    • It’s about the only Adam Sandler film in a long time I didn’t want to scoop out my eyes and ear drums to escape…mainly because I couldn’t see his face and didn’t even recognise his voice. It had it’s moments, but you’re right, kids will enjoy it more. Thanks

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