Reel Reviews
Movie: Stay Checked out of 'Hotel Transylvania'
October 3, 2012
Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5

The monsters that have been terrifying people for as long as can be remembered finally get to kick-back, relax and decompress from the stress of scaring local townsfolk in the animated feature "Hotel Transylvania".

After all of his immortal years roaming various countrysides shrouded in the dark, Count Dracula (voiced by Adam Sandler) grows tired of the world and its non-supernatural creatures, so in a bid to protect his baby daughter Mavis (voiced by Selena Gomez) from angry villagers with pitchforks he builds a (seemingly) impenetrable fortress. Hidden behind a creepy forest, a zombie filled cemetery and a slew of underground tunnels, the castle turned high end hotel resort eventually becomes a safe place for all of best known monsters, including Frankenstein (voiced by Kevin James), the Mummy Murray (voiced by CeeLo Green), Griffin the Invisible Man (voiced by David Spade) and Wayne the Wolfman (voiced by Steve Buscemi), due to the fact that it is promised that no human will ever be able to find it.

On Mavis’ 118th birthday, Dracula plans to throw her an elaborate party and to give her a present left to her by her deceased mother. While entertaining all of the patrons at the hotel, the Count notices a young boy in the lobby, a young boy who is unmistakably human. In a panic he disguises the boy, Jonathan (voiced by Andy Samberg), as a monster, claiming he is a distant cousin of Frankenstein. Attempting to keep the boys secret under wraps from his nosey hotel guests proves more difficult than he thinks; especially when Jonathan falls for Mavis and it becomes clear that the attraction is mutual.  

For an animated feature targeted for the fall season and to children, there were maybe three actual children in the audience I saw "Hotel Transylvania" with and, to that end, the adults seemed to enjoy it more than the children. The plot is basic and not extremely well-thought out, making it a film that one can sit through passively. There is nothing special about the dialogue although there are some genuinely funny lines peppered throughout. The voice cast does an admirable job, even with the singing that turns up, and the many "Saturday Night Live" alumni that lent their voices were pleasantly surprising. The film was in 3D which added absolutely nothing to it aside from upping the ticket price to $15.00. Overall it is a cute film, but it will not be a children’s classic anytime in the near or probably distant future, regardless of how well it has done at the Box Office.  

"Hotel Transylvania" is rated PG for some rude humor, action and scary images and runs 91 minutes. It is in theaters now.