PG, 1hr 45min
Reviewed by Katy Breheny.
There is plenty of bite in the first half of Hotel Transylvania but it loses its fangs in the ending. You may be captivated by the hidden world of monsters but when they see the light of a human day their mystique sizzles away.
Dracula (Adam Sandler) has obviously been to a careers adviser as he has given up his lurking in the world of humans and has established a high-class hotel for monsters.
There, they can be assured they will be away from humans and safe from persecution while they enjoy spas, exotic food, a sauna and on-tap housekeeping.
All the favourite guests are rounded up to celebrate Dracula's daughter Mavis' (Selena Gomez) 118th birthday when fate deals an unexpected blow by delivering a human, Jonathan (Andy Samberg), in the midst of preparations.
As well as trying to juggle the complex needs of his guests, Dracula is faced with eliminating the problem.
Since violence is outlawed, he disguises the human as a monster but this backfires when the human develops unprecedented popularity.
Going from bad to worse, the human also catches the eye of Dracula's only daughter and sparks fly, causing the kind of outcome he has always dreaded - humans endangering his daughter.
As Dracula resorts to control and manipulation to protect Mavis, he finds that the road to reconciliation may take him back to the human world that he has shunned for decades.
The concept of this movie is intriguing and the monster characters - the werewolf family, the Frankensteins, the Mummy and Mavis herself - are humorous and appealing.
Animation is flawless and attention to detail amazing. The sequences involving Jonathan interacting with the monsters are hilarious and everything looks set to bring home a successful movie.
Out of the blue, it all starts to go soggy as romantic cliches set in and pure stupidity ensues to help the plot over the finish line.
Adam Sandler is consistently capable in his voicing and bears an uncanny resemblance to Steve Carell in Despicable Me. All in all, it seems a great shame when it all comes unwound.
In the light of day, the humans and monsters become as unexciting as each other and the zing is definitely lost from this movie.
Worth a watch but be warned - don't get too attached, the monsters won't be as likeable out of the darkness.
- Manawatu Standard