Hotel Transylvania

By Cory Haggart

Mailed on October 02, 2012

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Dear Michelle Murdocca

Dear Michelle,

It's your job to keep the show from becoming one big mess. But things happen, amiright? So your movie takes six years to get made. Happens all the time. Sure you had six different directors. The Hobbit had almost as many. You needed five writers. The best thing to do is just to mix it up, keep it loose. Throw in a little bit of what anyone could want: love, a little drama, monsters, wordplay, and slapstick. Some 3-frickin'-D. Wrap it up with rap song. I tell ya, every single person will enjoy Hotel Transylvania. For like five minutes, at least. Sure, that means that they'll be bored or annoyed for the rest of the 86 minutes, but them's the breaks. We're in a recession, after all.

You've got a nice setup. You've got a single dad whose daughter's all grown up. He wants to protect her, literally building a fortress hotel to keep her safe forever. But there's friction - she wants to go out and experience the world for herself. That can be the toughest moment in a man's life, with a lot of conflicting emotions. And he's hiding some deep hurt from his past.

But hey! Enough of that. Because he's Dracula! And there're hilarious monsters that are staying at the hotel. There's Frankenstein in pieces! Zombies! Fran Drescher! There's a mummy that gets blamed for a rancid fart that cooks the hotel help. Hilarious!

Then this schmuck shows up uninvited and takes a shine to the daughter and it might just be mutual. This intruder forces Dracula to face his fears for his daughter, his own personal pain, and why he has created a safe haven for kin and kindred. How can he deal with this threat to his identity, family, and friends?

Woooh! Did you know that Beethoven is sooo old and dead? And boring? Rock music is what everyone needs! You trade up the deep stuff for some crowd pleasing fun as fresh as an 80s movie. A lotta people like something familiar. It might not appeal to anyone who's ever seen a movie since, but maybe a lot of people haven't. And those are the people that are going to love some of this.

You got some real comedic pros in the cast - Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Kevin James, Steve Buschemi, Molly Shannon, David Spade, Jon Lovitz, and Chris Parnell. But just so everyone feels invited, you got Selena Gomez and Ceelo Green. It's a nice bunch that doesn't lean too far in any one direction.

Since no one likes a smart-ass, the movie also has everyone laugh at their own jokes. Every single one. That's a great nod to the people who are totally bored by the mid-life crisis plot. And to the really small children who need to see people laughing to know it's all fun and games. Maybe it undermines the chance for any thinking person over the age of six to enjoy the jokes, but hey, they get Buschemi as a werewolf dad who hates his life.

Some people will be really happy that this is an animated feature with none of the irredeemably evil villains that kid's movies and Mel Gibson films are made of. But then those people will hate the long extended pointless action scenes and grotesquely oversimplified love story. Some people will appreciate the loving homages to Tex Avery cartoons. Those people will hate the hacky 3D.

Everyone gets their turn, just like Warhol said. So just take it and be grateful. In these times, we all gotta be economical.

Thanks a lot, toots,


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