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Hotel Transylvania Film Review

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by Saba Vayani-Lai (subscribe)
The secret to happiness is to be well-fed and in good company.
Who knew a stay at a hotel run by Dracula could be so fun?
Frankenstein, werewolves, mummies and vampires fear one monster above all others... the humans. Every year, they journey to Count Dracula's Hotel Transylvania to take a break from skulking in the shadows. Here, they can let their wild sides loose on the dance floor, in the slime pool and at the bingo table.

The theatrical release poster for Hotel Transylvania | Copyright Sony Pictures

In the tradition of Shrek, Megamind and other trope-subverting animated kids' comedies, Hotel Transylvania draws much of its humour from defying expectations. "Hush little darling, don't say a word," croons Count Dracula at the beginning of the film. "Papa's going to bite the head off a bird."

Drac might have some anger management issues, but at heart he is a real softie, especially when it comes to his daughter Mavis. When a human stops by the hotel, Drac goes to extreme lengths to stop the two from falling in love. However, Jonathan the pesky human makes this harder than Drac expects when he charms the monsters and Mavis - with his groovy music and tales of his travels.

Stripped of its supernatural elements, Hotel Transylvania would basically be a family drama. The forbidden-love-disapproving-father plot-line is far from original in fact, Bollywood has perfected this to an art form.

That said, the comedic twists and visually interesting animation help to keep the story fresh, and the humour is at times laugh-out-loud funny. The characters are also genuinely likeable, particularly Drac as the hapless Dad and Mavis as the tiny girl with big ambitions.

A still from the film... Jonathan and Mavis share a moment. | Copyright Sony Pictures

This one's definitely perfect for the kids, although adults may find the storyline a little bit lacking. However, there are plenty of stereotype-subverting jokes to keep everyone entertained for a couple of hours of school holiday fun. You're sure to leave the cinema smiling, at the very least.

And the sentiment the film peddles is definitely worth cherishing in the end, its only villains are prejudice and misunderstanding.

Oh, and also a crazy-eyed rat-wielding chef. But I'll leave you to discover that for yourself.

Rating: 8/10

See it if: You're looking for a good comedy or something to keep the kids entertained during the school holidays.

Don't see it if: You're looking to have your worldview changed. This isn't anything revolutionary, just a couple of hours of rollicking fun.
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Why? A funny and heart-warming family film, with some genre-bending twists to keep things interesting.
Where: All good cinemas
Cost: $10-30, depending on 2D or 3D viewing
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