Hotel Transylvania: A little slice of alternative heaven
Published: Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 08:10
As if a protective father isn’t enough to stifle a teenage dreamer, give that father fangs and Dracula’s temperament and it makes growing up that much more difficult. Young Mavis is celebrating her milestone 118th birthday. She is anxious to spread her wings and venture into the world outside of her father’s hotel.
In “Hotel Transylvania” the monsters are endearing and the humor is light hearted. Dracula, voiced by Adam Sandler, does not trust humans. He builds a hotel as a haven for monsters to escape the human world and for them to be themselves in all their hairy, scary ways, void of human judgment and ridicule.
The hotel is a revolving door of notorious monsters and villains. From Big Foot to Frankenstein, the monster guests are full of life. Even the dead guests are a lot of fun. Dracula boasts the establishment as “Human free since 1898.” When Johnny, a young thrill-seeking backpacker arrives at the hotel, Dracula is forced to confront his fear of humans.
Dracula raises his daughter with all the care that a vampire can give a daughter. He even makes sure she wears a helmet while she learns how to fly as a small bat. “Hush little vampire, don’t say a word,” he sang in a lullaby to baby Mavis. “Papa’s gonna bite the head off a bird.”
Mavis is coming of age and Dracula does what he can to keep her in the hotel as a way to keep her safe. In spite of his efforts, she no longer accepts his reasons for keeping her cooped up and she longs to experience the world.
The movie did not shy away from cliché jokes but also had some style that was all its own. Dracula drinks a blood alternative, similar to the vampire lifestyle promoted throughout popular entertainment, however his reason goes beyond the idea of a vampire vegetarian. “Human blood is so fatty and you never know where it has been,” Dracula (Sandler) said.
Peppered throughout the film are references to other monsters in entertainment, including a quick ode to the Twilight movies when Johnny is watching the film on his plane ride. This is a great movie for the kids and is entertaining enough for the adults accompanying them. For the adult viewer who chooses to see it without children, go to the 3D version. It may be worth the extra money to see Dracula fly a table and Mavis’ party scene would dazzle in three dimensions.
“Hotel Transylvania” makes for a perfect family film during the Halloween season.