Verdict - Hotel Transylvania is an enjoyable film with several references to monster classics
Are you a â€œmonster nerdâ€? I am. There's no doubt that a monster nerd will enjoy this film. I enjoyed every bit of it. It had the silly humor I'd been missing from animated movies this year. We didn't get a great animated film this year, might as well cherish the stupidity. While you're laughing, you realize that this film also has a little bit of heart. The primary reason why the film worked for me is the little movie references sprinkled all over. The classic monsters from the Hollywood 40s including the giant tarantula and octopus check-in here. The nostalgia is cheeky and extremely satisfying.
Of course this isn't Pixar quality. Let's just leave expectations of wanting a Monsters, Inc. (2001) at the door. No, this isn't a terrible Adam Sandler film either. Far from it. Leaving this preconception at the door too? Great, that's my boy!
Hotel Transylvania is about Count Dracula (Adam Sandler) who runs a five-star hotel for his fellow monsters. His wife died a century ago and he is the sole parent to his goth daughter, Mavis (Selena Gomez). He is an over-protective dad. Why shouldn't he be? She is only 118 years old.
There are a few specific reasons why I enjoyed this film. These reasons are minor in the bigger picture but largely won me over. One of them is a joke about how Count Dracula's most quoted catchphrase is â€œblah blah blahâ€ in scary voice. â€œI do NOT say blaah blaah blaahâ€, he clears it up. This literally had me in splits each time someone did it. There is also a little Twilight joke, which is hilarious. The insipid goofiness of this movie is also a major cause why most adults would dismiss it. How much can a grown-up laugh at the Invisible Man?
Of course, this isn't a three and a half star film. It's probably a two or a two and a half star one. Three at best. But if I gave it an objective rating without honestly putting forth what I felt, it would be an utter disservice to you and to me. If I had to point out one more reason why I enjoyed and hence connected with this film, it would be that if these monsters actually surfaced from wherever they are hiding, I would be incredibly happy to celebrate their existence. The film captures just that.
There isn't much for the adults here. Only for the children. There are a few scary moments, which might actually be too much for them. The child in me was pleased. The monster nerd in me only has one question though. Victor Frankenstein is the doctor's name. He created the monster. In Mary Shelley's novel (she also gets a wink here), the monster is never assigned a name. This is a widely committed pop-culture faux pas. A film like this one, which wears its monster love on its sleeve, did not wish to be a little more puristic? You know what? I'm one of those people who get anal about horror film accuracy and it didn't occur to me even once that the film repeats this glitch until after I came out of the theater. I was so busy having fun.