By MICHAEL WALTERS
“Hotel Transylvania” should be condemned. It’s a frightfully unfunny animated monstrosity that treats laughs as though they were garlic coated silver bullets. A stake to the heart might be preferable to sitting through this again.
Adam Sandler plays Dracula, but this time the count is a popular innkeeper at a hotel exclusively for monsters. But old Dracula also has a young daughter (Selena Gomez) who’s eager to find her own place in the world outside the castle walls. Can someone explain to me why Sandler thought it would be funny to play the famous bloodsucker as just another overprotective sitcom dad? Alas Sandler, sporting another of his funny voices, is unable to squeeze blood from this stone.
Sandler collects his usual cronies David Spade, Kevin James, and Steve Buscemi along with some new voices like Cee Lo Green, but to virtually no effect. The only moments its barely tolerable are when Buscemi’s Wolf man is on screen. He plays the werewolf as a henpecked dad who is no longer the leader of his wolf pack of hyperactive children, and he infuses his lines with an air of desperation and profound disappointment. I know exactly how he feels.
Former SNL star Andy Samberg is along for the ride too as a human backpacker who stumbles onto the hotel, and of course Drac’s young daughter immediately falls for him. This is Samberg’s second collaboration with Adam Sandler and he would be wise to end this deal with the comedy devil before he loses his comedy soul entirely. It’s a shame to see someone so talented and capable of doing so many different things reduced to a whiny dumb “dude” over and over again. The film doesn’t even give him a decent song at the end. He’s got the talent to make a career in movies, but right now his course is set for Chris Katan and Joe Piscapo land. I’d hate to see him become another former SNL star who washed out in Hollywood, while David Spade still has a career.
The film has exactly one laugh, where Dracula catches a clip of “Twilight” on a TV and grouses to the audience “this is how we’re represented.” Hotel Transylvania is unlikely to restore vampires’ good name anytime soon.\