Reviewed by Kevin Finnerty
“This is Hotel Transylvania, all of our monster friends are here,’ says Dracula (voiced by Adam Sandler) to his daughter, Mavis (Selena Gomez), who wants to leave the safety and security of their giant home/hotel to see the world on her 118 birthday in the animated comedy Hotel Transylvania.
The entire monster clan has shown up to party and celebrate Mavis’ 118 birthday, including Frankenstein’s Monster (Kevin James), The Werewolf (Steve Buscemi), and The Invisible Man (David Spade). Another reason for their appearance at the hotel is to avoid at all costs any humans who hate and fear all monsters.
But when a young human named Jonathan (Andy Samberg) accidentally stumbles onto the hotel and thinks it’s the greatest tourist attraction he’s ever seen, Dracula goes into overprotective mode to keep him away from Mavis. Mavis immediately finds him intriguing, and daddy Dracula must hide the fact that a human has invaded his beloved hotel, which he created as a haven for all monsters.
Hotel Transylvania is a funny and silly film that, unfortunately, runs out of steam and laughs a little more than half-way through. The voice talents are very unimpressive, not even trying to sound like the classic, iconic monster characters they are bringing to life in this Monster Mess.
The first 40 minutes of the film are by far the best, with laugh out loud one-liners. The slapstick humor works well as the guests arrive and Dracula shows he’s a control freak as he struggles to make every monster’s stay a frightful delight. Even when the human Jonathan first arrives at the castle and is too stupid to be afraid (he doesn’t realize the monsters are real), the film still has plenty of laughs.
However, once the romance between Mavis and Jonathan becomes one the main focuses of the film and Dracula’s tragic past is revealed, the film loses almost all it’s fun and humor and drags on to an uninteresting and predictable ending. Coming up short on laughs and having an overlong, boring, and uninspired ending, Hotel Transylvania will have both adults and the children in the audience wishing they had never checked in for the film.
Hotel Transylvania hits theaters on September 28, 2012 and is rated PG for some rude humor, action, and scary images.