Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

November 1, 2012

Sandler's "Transylvania" has no bite

Andy Stuckey, Ryan Maddux
Greensburg Daily News

Greensburg — This week we'll be taking a look at the animated feature, Hotel Transylvania (PG).

In the film Dracula runs a high-end resort for monsters. Upon his daughter’s 118th birthday celebration, a teenage boy stumbles upon the exclusive resort. Hilarity ensues. The movie stars the voice talents of Adam Sandler, Andy Samburg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James and Steve Buscemi.  

Andy: First off, this movie is about as good as the above description makes it sound. It is easy to imagine a conference call where the plot of this movie was hashed out (indeed, the movie has five screen-writing credits). The reason I bring this up is because the movie is more of an idea than a plot - it lacks heart, originality, and humor. I watched the movie in 3-D, which was adequate, but did little to improve the experience. I am sure this all works well for a six-year-old who wants to watch a cartoon with monsters in it, but for parents it is going to be a little tedious.    

Ryan: One wouldn’t readily classify this as an Adam Sandler-type movie, but it continues the trend of Sandler and company making sub-par movies. Hotel Transylvania is about as run-of-the-mill as an animated feature can be. It’s not a bad movie, and I think its heart is in the right place, but the execution of those ideals falls flat and in the end Hotel Transylvania is a cinematic bore.  

Andy: The biggest problem with Hotel Transylvania is its close adherence to cliche. Most of the time, this is just lazy writing (what other jokes can we make about Frankenstein being made of parts?), but it also boarders on offensive. For example, shrunken heads on the doors of the hotel all talk in the stereotypical voice of a sassy African American woman (voiced by Luenell). I realize this is just a kid’s movie, but it is hard to overlook the offensive cultural implications of that choice.  

Ryan: The allure of many animated features in this day and age is that they are geared towards not just a kid’s audience but an adult audience as well. Now that can have its own faults too but my point with Hotel Transylvania is that, while it tries to be geared towards both audiences, it fails to deliver to either one. When I watched the movie, there were kids in the theatre. Now this is hardly scientific but I got the impression from their lack of reactions that they weren't really enjoying the movie either. That might not be the case but I can attest that I really wasn’t into the movie and I don’t think they were either.

Hotel Transylvania serves its purpose as an animated movie with monsters in it during the Halloween season.  If you have children clamoring to see it, we would recommend trying to talk them into watching Monsters, Inc on DVD instead. Final grade: C-.