‘Hotel Transylvania’

Hotel Transylvania

Hotel Transylvania (2012) Directed by Genndy Tartakovsky. Starring Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Andy Samberg, Kevin James, Fran Drescher, Jon Lovitz, Cee Lo Green, Steve Buscemi, Molly Shannon, David Spade.

Dracula (Adam Sandler) runs a grand hotel in Transylvania, a resort for creatures and ghouls looking to escape from crazed mobs of terrible humans. Single father that he is, Dracula is over-protective of his young daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez). At 118 she is coming of age and he’s throwing a huge birthday bash for her. The guest list includes just about every classic movie monster you can think of: Frankenstein’s monster (Kevin James), a werewolf (Steve Buscemi), a mummy (Cee Lo Green), and the Invisible Man (David Spade) to name a few. But the party has a crasher, a young human named Johnny (Andy Samberg), who may end up thwarting Dracula’s intentions to keep his daughter safely at home.

This one was for my son. We don’t take him to the movies all that often as there really aren’t very many to see for kids his age, but he’s excited about Halloween this year so we thought Hotel Transylvania would be fun for him. The trailers seemed pretty tame, more childishly silly than anything else, which ended up being mostly true. Dracula has an angry face that’s a bit intense, though it only appears very briefly, and there’s a scene where a mob of zombies disguised as humans pretend to attack Mavis, but that’s it. Nobody really gets hurt and the creatures aren’t gruesome or frightening. The trailer for Life of Pi scared my son more than the movie we came to see. I’m not sure why they showed that particular trailer before a children’s movie to begin with, but there it was, freaking out my poor son who has apparently never seen a boat sink before. I guess we have to get him out more…

For regular horror fans it’s not worth seeing if you don’t have young children. Even those partial to Adam Sandler, a group of which I am not a member, probably shouldn’t bother with it. But overall it’s not a bad kid’s movie. It doesn’t have the warmth or intelligence or outstanding animation of a Pixar film but it’s not too dumb or condescending either. Nor does it try too hard to win adults over with too many clever pop culture references (was I the only one who found that tiresome in Shrek?), though there are a couple of sly bits of innuendo intended to go over the heads of the little ones.

My son had a great time and that’s why we took him. We enjoyed watching him as his five year-old brain become fully invested in the story. He even felt a little heartbreak when it seemed that Johnny and Mavis wouldn’t get together. What a sweet guy. Two thumbs up for parents and kids or those overly obsessed with Dracula and his friends. And for padding out my blog with another post. Now on to something much, much more serious…

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One Response to “‘Hotel Transylvania’”

  1. Michael K. Vaughan Says:

    I knew there was a reason I never had children.

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