[BD Review] ‘Hotel Transylvania’ Made For the MTV Generation

Hotel Transylvania - Dracula and Mavis

Fans of classic creature features may want to book a trip to Hotel Transylvania, Sony Pictures Animation’s 3-D horror comedy that features the voice acting of Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Fran Drescher, David Spade, Jon Lovitz, Cee Lo Green, Steve Buscemi, Molly Shannon and Selena Gomez. While the film leaves much to be desired, it’s a pretty focused comedy that does carry a few laughs, along with an incredible amount if energy.

In the film Dracula opens a five-stake resort in the hopes of giving monsters a safe place to be themselves. Every year, he opens the hotel alongside his most precious event: the birthday of his young daughter Mavis (her 118th, to be exact!). This year, however, a human stumbles into the party and causes everything to go wrong… for Drac.

Hotel Transylvania caters to the MTV generation’s lack of attention, and blitzes through the gates without a breath. The characters are introduced at lightning speed, and many of the set pieces are injected with the same energy. There’s even a slight Meta vibe (that occasionally goes a bit too far) as Dracula’s party is constantly referenced as “old” and “outdated.” The pace is what keeps this generic fable interesting, moving between characters and set pieces in a way to keep it visual fresh.

And while the main story may be outdated, there’s an injection of life in the way the ideas are presented. One of the cooler aspects is that the characters actually leave the hotel and enter real/modern world. It’s unclear if the writers have any social commentary, or if they’re just going through the motions (I suspect the latter), but there’s an interesting sense of space created throughout. Huge props go out to the digital animation team for creating this world, and pushing the boundaries of animation. The castle is absolutely gorgeous, as are all of the other background drawings. The characters themselves have a modern feel, albeit some of the jokes are focused on Dracula being an old fart.

The biggest disappointment is that it’s obviously a film made for young teens, mostly void of any adult humor. The writing lacks any sort of real punch, but is cutesy enough to warm the hearts of some parents out there. Horror fans? ParaNorman, while I dislike the film, was more aimed towards the horror audience. Although Hotel Transylvania is way more focused, entertaining, and isn’t trying to be something it’s not.

Hotel Transylvania isn’t really for the average Bloody Disgusting reader, but fans of the classic universal monsters will enjoy seeing their favorite creature on screen, and the jokes that accompany them. The 3-D feels a bit unnecessary, so check this one out of home video.

Official Score

  • GerryButton

    I saw the first showing here in Newfoundland, and I really enjoyed it. Not an amazing film by any means but still worth my ticket price. I will agree that the 3D just seemed pointless and I was hoping for SOME adult based jokes but what I got was ok.

    Some moments we got had me smiling and laughing and the story and characters where good enough for me to see it through to the end.

    Good review!