Movie review: Hotel Transylvania (PG)

SCHOOL holidays have arrived again and the perfect getaway (even if it is for a couple of hours) is to the cinemas.

Hotel Transylvania is an original, fun and adventurous family film.

It might be aimed at kids but the cast and crew behind it have planted some gags in there just for the parents.

The main force behind the film is veteran comedian and actor Adam Sandler.

Sandler, whose best films include Happy Gilmore, Billy Madison and The Wedding Singer, has created a monster-filled hotel to entertain the kids and offer relief to the parents during the holidays.

The plot sees Count Dracula running a hotel while trying to take care of his daughter Mavis.

The over-protective vampire is determined to keep his daughter close by after the death of her mother and it means keeping her confined to the hotel.

With the holiday season upon him, his hotel is packed to the rafters with werewolves, mummies, monsters, gremlins and bell-hop zombies but when a human stumbles into the hotel, mistaking it for a themed-hostel, chaos begins to rule the hotel.

Sandler takes the lead as Dracula with Andy Samberg voicing the young and oblivious Johnny and Selena Gomez stepping in as Mavis.

Sandler usual cast of Kevin James, David Spade, Steve Buscemi and Jon Lovitz all feature as voices as do Fran Drescher, Molly Shannon and musician Cee Lo Green.

But it is the banter between the to Saturday Night Live veterans Sandler and Samberg that give the most laughs.

Sandler’s Transylvanian accent might wane from time to time but it is a far cry from the loud and obnoxious shouting he is prone to.

Samberg is a relative newcomer to feature films and this is his second film with Sandler (after that’s My Boy). He is excellent as the dim-witted but wise human backpacker.

In what is a treat for SNL fans, both actors get to show off their much-loved musical side which involved a ukelele for Sandler and satirical rap for Samberg.

The plot leans toward predictable but the uniqueness comes in how the group overcome their issues. There are some clever gags for each of the major monsters.

Add in the obligatory cute characters and some terrifying funny action sequences and the film is a success for the kids.

The film is also a step away from other releases that feature old characters in new situations

Madagascar 3 stars former SNL star Ben Stiller  and is at cinemas now while Diary of a Wimpy Kid is also up to its third film.

Parents might not be as invested as their children but Hotel Transylvania is worth the family outing.

The Verdict: ✰✰✰ ½

n Hotel Transylvania (PG) is now showing at Bendigo Cinemas. See page 3 of the Bendigo Advertiser for session details. 

Follow film reviewer Chris Pedler on Twitter @FilmNerdChris.

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