Hotel Transylvania (2012, Genndy Tartakovsky)

HotelT

An occasional series where I write about works inspired by Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula…

These reviews reveal plot twists.

Setting: Transylvania. After a prologue set in 1895, we move to the modern day.

Faithful to the novel? Count Dracula (voiced by Adam Sandler) is a widower who lives with his daughter, Mavis (Selena Gomez). He decided to convert his castle into a hotel for fellow monsters, and guests include Frankenstein’s monster, the Invisible Man, skeletons, ghosts and giant spiders. The monsters are avoiding contact with humans and have given up trying to scare them: they just want to be left alone. Dracula has to avoid sunlight and can turn into a bat. He doesn’t drink human blood, though, because it’s fattening. It’s Mavis’s 118th birthday – though she still looks like a teenager because, you know, vampire. She wants to leave the castle and, for the first time, explore the outside world. Dracula lets her go, but arranges for an angry mob to scare her back home because he doesn’t want to lose her. Then a human backpacker called Johnny (Andy Samberg) stumbles across the hotel – he wasn’t put off by the undead-riddled cemetery and spooky woods that Dracula has created as a barrier. Dracula initially tries to hide the truth, but Johnny soon learns what’s going on. He also meets and falls for Mavis.

Best performance: Is that Steve Buscemi playing Wayne the werewolf?! Yes, it is. So that’s what happened to him.

Best bit: The fake townspeople – actually zombies in human masks.

Review: A madcap comedy animation. (There are even fart gags.) There are lots of jokes crammed into every scene. It loses momentum once the set-up’s finished, but is generally amusing and likeable.

Six shrunken heads out of 10

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