Hotel Transylvania Film Review
By Kam Williams
Mortal Courts Dracula's Overprotected Daughter in Animated Romantic ComedyI know it's a little early in the season, but if you're ready for a Halloween-themed flick that's going to be lot of fun for the whole family, have I got a cartoon for you. More romantic and funny than spooky and spine-tingling, Hotel Transylvania is a tenderhearted tale that milks most of its mirth by turning a basic scary movie convention on its head.
For, the picture unfolds from the point-of-view of Count Dracula (Adam Sandler) and a beleaguered brotherhood of peace-loving creatures who have not only been unfairly-demonized as monsters but are actually more afraid of humans than we are of them. Who knew? Victims of bad press and paranoia, they naturally shy away from making any contact with humans.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Figuring his fellow social outcasts might also enjoy a sanctuary of tranquility safe from humanity, Dracula transforms his sprawling estate into the Hotel Transylvania, a swanky, 5-stake (ala "5-star") resort catering strictly to fellow monsters. The plot thickens when he lowers the drawbridge over the moat to the castle to welcome his friends to celebrate Mavis' birthday.
A hiker who just stumbled upon the place slips in alongsideFrankenstein (Kevin James), The Mummy (CeeLo Green), The Werewolf (Steve Buscemi), Quasimodo (Jon Lovitz), The Invisible Man (David Spade) and the other invited guests. Jonathan (Andy Samberg) may be a mere mortal, but the clueless party crasher's just the right age to appreciate the blossoming beauty of a rebellious teen vampire with raging hormones.
It's cross-species love at first sight, much to the chagrin of an exasperated Count Dracula whose desperate efforts to discourage his suddenly-defiant daughter prove futile. His cries of "You're barely out of your training fangs!" and "There are so many eligible monsters!" fall on deaf ears, as Mavis opts instead to heed her late-mother's sage suggestion that "A zing comes along only once in a life."
A tyke-friendly, Halloween adventure teaching a universal message of tolerance via the oft-repeated maxim that monsters are people, too!
Very Good (3 stars)
Rated PG for action, rude humor and scary images.
Running time: 91 minutes
Distributor: Sony Pictures
To see a trailer for Hotel Transylvania:
Kam Williams is a syndicated film and book critic who writes for 100+ publications. He is a member of the New York Film Critics Online, the African-American Film Critics Association, and the NAACP Image Awards Nominating Committee. Contact him through NewsBlaze. Read more reviews by Kam Williams.
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