What is Halloween without some candy? That’s exactly what Hotel Transylvania is, a big gob of gooey, tasty sweetness in a holiday wrapper. Definitely for the kids, but the grown-ups can enjoy it too.
Just as kids have been enjoying the same treats for generations, there’s not much new to find here. The story is very familiar. Dracula (Adam Sandler) is the overprotective father of a slightly rebellious teenager, Mavis (Selena Gomez), trying to keep her away from the threat of humans in the hotel he built as sanctuary for monsters. But everything goes awry when a backpacker, Jonathan (Andy Samberg) stumbles upon the hotel. The presence of a human in the hotel would threaten the hotel’s integrity, but Jonathan proves annoyingly difficult to get rid of. Worse, while in disguise, he ingrates himself to the other monsters, who find him loads more fun than the stodgy Count. And, of course, he and Mavis become emotionally involved. It’s hardly a spoiler to tell you that everyone will ultimately put aside their prejudices and the star-crossed lovers will have a happy ending.
The joke-o-matic is set on high for this film. As soon as the title card is taken away, the viewer is assaulted with a flurry of monster gags that never lets up for the rest of the film. Yeah, a lot of them are old, a lot of them are predictable, but this film is all about seeing what’s coming and enjoying the anticipation. Laughing while rolling one’s eyes is probably not a safe combination, but I did it more times than I could count.