Halloween is almost upon us and with the holiday comes a slew of horror and psychological thrillers that are sure to give eager moviegoers a scream. But for little kids and those who don’t enjoy being scared stiff there’s the family friendly option in the animated Halloween comedy, Hotel Transylvania. Horror favorites including Dracula, Frankenstein, the Mummy, and the Werewolf gather at a hotel designed specifically for monsters when their worst fear invades the castle’s gates; a human.
Hundreds of years ago, monsters such as Dracula (Adam Sandler) were forced into hiding from scared villagers who simply misunderstood them. Because of this, Dracula built the Hotel Transylvania deep within the forest where he and his daughter, Mavis (Selena Gomez), could live in peace, along with any other monsters who needed a place to get away from civilization. On the verge of Mavis’ 118th birthday, Dracula is busy with the party planning when a human hiker stumbles upon the hotel. In an attempt to keep things running smoothly and not worry any of the other guests, Dracula disguises Jonny (Andy Samberg) and Jonny-Stein, the supposed long lost cousin of Frankenstein’s left hand.
Plenty of shenanigans ensue as Dracula does his best of keeping Jonny hidden, meanwhile Mavis, at her young age, is intrigued by the outside world having spent all her life inside the hotel. Naturally she takes a shine to Jonny and the two hit it off quite well. Nestled within the comedy is a sweet young romance. It can be a little cheesy at times but remember the film is geared towards younger audiences. There are still some decent laughs and horror cult references, though.
Vampires burn up in the sun (no, they don’t sparkle), Frankenstein is afraid of fire, and the Invisible Man is one big prankster. These are all some of the oftentimes humorous scenarios Hotel Transylvania depicts, and they’re mostly good for a laugh or two. There’s never a dull moment as the extensive cast keeps things moving at a generous pace. This is perhaps Sandler’s best film in year, mostly in part because he’s not playing his typical idiotic self.
Hotel Transylvania delivers a family friendly Halloween comedy that’s packed with laughs and a heartwarming story. While it doesn’t push the limits of animation or story writing, it will leave you with a smile on your face.