`Hotel Transylvania` review: An interesting movie told with shortcomings

Arya Yuyutsu

In a time when vampires are associated with drivel like `Twilight`, it`s always wonderful to get back to the Count- the traditional vampire who started off this entire vamp-mania.

The legendary Count Dracula has been portrayed in many different forms: the traditional scary one, the comic and clumsy version who`s "dead and loving it" and now he`s in animated 3D.

With `Hotel Transylvania`, not only does Dracula take on a fascinatingly vulnerable form, but he`s also shown as a doting father, a loving husband to his late wife and, in a rather unique twist, a hotel manager for a castle meant only for monsters, a haven where they can stay `safe` from human beings.

The movie begins with the adolescent troubles of Mavis, Dracula`s young (in `relative` terms) daughter who`s about to turn 118 and wishes to go out and explore the world, meet humans and `live her life`. The Count, on his part, harbours a fear of humans and believes his precious "Devilchops" would be prodded with pitch-forks and burnt to death by the humans, a fear that most monsters seem to hold.

This, along with a melee of strange monsters including Frankenstein and Chef Quasimodo inhabiting the castle, sets the scene rather efficiently, even though the humour is rather un-entertaining so far.

Then in stumbles Jonathan, a mobile phone wielding, back-pack carrying, American lad and thus begins a predictable love-story, with the Count caught up in the middle of all this, trying desperately to keep everyone at ease while a whole storm brews around him.

While much of the movie is predictable and easy, there are sparks of creative brilliance in the making of certain monsters and the innovative ways the hotel props are used. Sticking firmly with all the Dracula cliches, the story succeeds in making you identify with the ancient blood-sucking Count and feel for him, even love his eccentricities.

What the movie lacks, though, is a good sense of humour which is so necessary in animated movies these days if they are to rope in viewers from all ages. The 3D work and easy story-line may be enough to draw in the kids. But the poorly written dialogues, delivered rather expertly by the artists I should add, is a major let-down from an adult`s perspective.

Adam Sandler is a convincing Romanian Count Dracula and Selena Gomez`s voice works well for the goth-esque Mavis Dracula, and the other voices fit too. The 3D effects are enjoyable but it`s nothing exceptional for a modern audience that is slowly becoming used to 3D.

On the whole, the movie has an interesting basis and a fresh take on Count Dracula, but it is, at most, only a one-time watch. Go see it only if your kids are prodding you over it. You will, at least, enjoy the rock songs interspersed neatly throughout the movie. And watch out for Dracula`s rap right at the end.

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