Movie surpasses expectations

Over this last weekend, I saw the recently released 3D animated comedy, “Hotel Transylvania.”

I didn’t know what to expect when I headed in to the theater. I hadn’t seen any trailers and had only seen one of the minimalistic poster depicting a werewolf, mummy, Frankenstein’s monster and the Invisible Man in front of the castle. I went in with minimal expectations. I went to see the movie with my family, and it was my 7-year old cousin who chose the film.

Despite my hesitation, “Hotel Transylvania” was an enjoyable film directed by Genndy Tartakovsky, creator of Dexter’s Laboratory, with music by DEVO’s Mark Mothersbaugh. The film had a lot of comedic moments, a few of which fell flat on their face, but as a whole was very funny.

In my opinion some of the funniest moments came from the Invisible Man. The writers really found some clever jokes that use his invisibility as a punchline, one of which was him acting out clues for charades. On paper that joke may sound very forced and unfunny, but it’s David Spade’s delivery that really sells it. The relationship between Dracula and his daughter is very believable as well, with Dracula wanting to protect his precious daughter from the outside world.

I’m usually against big name actors being used as voice actors, but in this film everyone plays their role very well. I instantly recognized the distinctive voice of Fran Drescher as the nagging bride of Frankenstein, but it wasn’t until the end credits that I recognized the other actors featured in the film.

Disney starlet Selena Gomez is the voice of Dracula’s daughter, Mavis, Andy Samberg was the clueless human, Johnny, Steve Buscemi was Wayne the Wolfman and David Spade was the Invisible Man. Though what shocked me the most was Adam Sandler, an actor I usually find infuriatingly annoying, portrayed Count Dracula himself. Unlike most of his performances, however, I actually enjoyed Sandler’s portrayal of the Count, though his Transylvanian accent occasionally slipped into something that I can only describe as ambiguously Jewish.

One fun thing about “Hotel Transylvania” was the wide variety of monsters showcased. If you pay attention to what’s going on in the background, you can spot just about any notable monster you would care to name, from Bigfoot to the Creature from the Black Lagoon. I swear I even saw the fictional entity Cthulhu at one point.

My one major complaint with the film is the unnecessary rap number featuring all the characters at the end of the story. It comes completely out of left field and served no purpose other than padding out the time until the credits rolled.

In conclusion, “Hotel Transylvania” is a fun film that pays tribute to common horror tropes and clichés. It has elements of romance, comedy and even a brief touch of tragedy. It won’t change the face of cinema and a few jokes fall short, but overall, it’s well worth the price of admission.