Hotel Transylvania review

The feature debut of Genndy Tartakovsky - the mad scientist behind Dexter’s Laboratory and Samurai Jack - this zany monster mash could’ve been something special.

Alas, a deluge of fart gags and grating dance numbers soil the 3D furnishings, making Hotel Transylvania more of a serviceable B&B than a five-star all-inclusive.

Scornful of xenophobic humans, Count Drac (Adam Sandler) has run his castle as a luxury retreat for misunderstood monsters since the late 19th Century.

Desperate to keep his 117-year-young daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) away from the outside world, he forbids her to leave.

On the night of Mavis’ 118th - the hotel fully booked with mummies, invisible men, hunchbacks, zombies and slime blobs - in stumbles Jonathan (Andy Samberg), a backpacking dude in need of a room.

Between the overprotective dad, the daughter gagging for teenage kicks and the amiable hipster, even the youngest members of the audience will predict how it all plays out.

More Brüno than Bela Lugosi, Sandler is joined behind the mic by everyone who can do a funny voice, including Kevin James, David Spade, Jon Lovitz and Steve Buscemi (great as a wolf-dad run ragged by his cubs).

Eschewing the retro-cool stylings of his TV ’toons, Tartakovsky channels Tex Avery with a 90-minute barrage of weapons-grade lunacy.

Rarely is the screen free from something running, screaming, gurning or belching in your face. It bursts with ideas and the characters are warmly drawn; it’s just a shame the jokes come so thin and fast.

Despite the all-star talent, an overload of sight gags and an always-amiable vibe, Genndy Tartakovsky’s monster house is a bit too loony for its own good.


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