Director: Genndy Tarakovsky
Starring: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Andy Samberg
Release Date: 12th October
Hotel Transylvania is set in the present day and revolves around Count Dracula hosting a massive birthday party for his over-protected daughter in the titular hotel, a safe haven for monsters far away from the cruelty of human kind. All his plans go to pieces however, when a single human shows up at the door and begins to fall for his daughter. Lessons are learned, songs are sung, and shenanigans ensue.
The animation in this film is fantastic, which should come as no surprise as it is the feature film debut of Genndy Tartakovsky, creator of the award-winning cartoons Dexter’s Laboratory and Samurai Jack. It’s also his first foray into CGI animation, though he retains his signature hyperkinetic style. Many scenes take place on a sort of faux-2D plain and there is a strong focus on rapid action throughout the film which is refreshing when so many modern CGI films tend focus more on extreme detail. Sadly, the high quality animation can’t cover the fact that virtually every other feature of the film is absolutely atrocious.
The entire package is so unintelligent, uninspired, and uninteresting. It has a predictable plot populated by characters that are bland, annoying, or highly one-dimensional, with Adam Sandler as Dracula simultaneously managing to be all three. The comedy is very much hit and miss, with every decent joke being outweighed by at least four poor ones. The majority of the amusing ones are also a result of clever uses of animation, a reminder that the animators talents are desperately trying to bolster a sub-par script.
The movie stinks of being a soulless money-grab. It’s a shallow, pointless piece of cinema, which alternates between being completely unengaging and painfully cringe-educing, specifically with regard to the borderline abusive musical numbers. It’s tough to decide which is worse, Adam Sandler rapping in a Transylvanian accent or Adam Sandler singing in an auto-tuned Transylvanian accent. There’s been a string of quality children’s films this year with the likes of Brave and ParaNorman that may well be remembered in years to come. Hotel Transylvania isn’t one of them.
In a Nutshell: Only worth watching for the impressive animation, though waiting for the DVD would allow the privilege of the mute button.