February 3, 2013

Filthy Review - 'Hotel Transylvania'

Hotel Transylvania (2012)

Review by Jude Felton

Animated horror themed movies were like buses recently; you wait ages for one to come along, and three arrive at once. Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie seemed to alienate a lot of the movie going public, despite being a very good film. Possibly due to it being in black and white, and certainly the more adult-friendly of the three, which kept the kids away, and let’s face it the kids bring in the bucks for the studios. Then we had Paranorman; a stop-motion number which I have yet to watch in its entirety. From what I have seen though it was most enjoyable. Completely the trio is Hotel Transylvania.

Now, if Frankenweenie was the more adult of the three, Hotel Transylvania is by far the most kid friendly, which no doubt translated into its healthy box office return. Personally, the fact that Adam Sandler and Kevin James were voicing two of the main characters only acted as a minor deterrent to me. Not so much Sandler, who has made some good movies believe it or not, but James I find irritating. Really though, I needn’t have worried though as Hotel Transylvania is 90 minutes of pure entertainment.

Set mainly in the hotel of the title, the film is based around the premise of Dracula (Sandler) running an escape for monsters, where they can hang out without fear of human interaction. The trouble being, Dracula’s daughter Mavis is getting bored, and wants to see the outside world. Of course, Dracula wants none of this; instead he wants to focus on Mavis enjoying her 118th birthday party. A further spanner gets thrown in the works when Jonathan (Andy Samberg), who is a regular human, somehow turns up at the Hotel’s front door.

Jonathan fills Mavis’ head with ideas of the outside world, and it’s not too long before an obvious attraction develops between the two, with Dracula doing all he can to keep them apart and trying to send Jonathan packing. The plot is fairly straightforward, but it is funny and the action moves along at a furious pace.

Kevin James voices Frankenstein’s Monster, with Selena Gomez voicing Mavis, and along with Sandler and Samberg, all play there characters well; they’re all charming characters, with only Dracula occasionally bordering on the annoying, with his manic attempts of banishing Jonathan. Also along for the ride, in smaller roles, are Steve Buscemi, David Spade and the wonderful Jon Lovitz.

Hotel Transylvania is most definitely a kid’s movie, although there are also plenty of horror related in-jokes that might well fly over the heads of the younger viewers, without alienating them, and leaving enough in for the adults to enjoy. Hell, I enjoyed it a lot, even Dracula rapping (I shit you not) wasn’t enough to spoil it for me.

The animation is slick throughout, with some fun effects, and some wonderful action set-pieces. I watched the 2D DVD version of the film, but it still looked terrific, with the colors popping of the screen and plenty of detail in the picture.

Overall, I’d definitely recommend Hotel Transylvania; it is good family fun, although I would watch it again on my own without a second thought. I still by far prefer Frankenweenie, of the three animated movies, but I am positive I will be watching the inevitable sequel of this film when it arrives. Hotel Transylvania is fun all the way.

Hotel Transylvania is available on 3D Blu, Blu and DVD now from Sony.

No comments: