Walking In Another’s Shoes

Hotel Transylvania: Transformania
(Also called “Hotel Transylvania Four) 
Stars: Andy Samberg. Selena Gomez, Kathryn Hahn, Steve Buscemi, Molly Shannon, David Spade, Fran Dresher and Keegan-Michael KeyDirectors: Jennifer Kluska and Derek Drymon
Scriptwriters: Amos Vernon, Nunzio Randazzo and Genndy Tartakovsky
Composer: Mark Mothersbaugh
Sony Pictures/Amazon
Rating: PG
Running length: 99 Minutes 

Some things just run their course, and this film franchise is one of them. Oh, there is humor for fans---and “Hotel Transylvania” has had its fans from the beginning, but how many plots can you put together?  This film, number four in the series, promises to be the last. For first-timers, the basic plot has been that Count Dracula has a daughter, Mavis, and they don’t always agree. The Count runs a hotel with a variety of guests---the weird and super-weird---and their antics. Film 3 had everyone on a vacation, but Film 4 has a different premise. Someone has invented a transformer machine and it wreaks havoc on everyone. What is fun in this film is listening to the variety of Hollywood star voices. You could close your eyes and just listen to the dialogue and know what is going on. There is Brian Hull as the Count, his wife Erica (Kathryn Hahn), Selena Gomez as Mavis and her husband, Johnny (Andy Samberg). 

As the story goes, the hotel is heading for a 125th anniversary and Count Dracula is thinking of retiring and giving the running of the Hotel to daughter Mavis and her husband, Johnny, who is human. Dracula has second thoughts and tells the young man only a monster can run the hotel. What does Johnny do? Go to Professor Van Helsing (Jim Gaffigan) who has a Monster-Ray that turns Johnny into a monster, but anyone else is turned into a human!  Horror of horrors, now the real monsters learn what it is to be human. Gasp, even the Count is human. What to do? As you can imagine, there are jokes about this but the dialogue is so like the first three films that humor starts to lag. 

The animation is fine  and fans will be pleased, as will newcomers to the franchise. What causes the film to falter is that jokes can become repetitive and even actor’s voices can become weary to hear. That this film will be the last is calming. What nicely carries through the film is the relationship between father and daughter. Even monsters have emotions.  Seeing how the other side lives is an eye-opener and how we really see others is present here and that is a lesson for young audiences, actually, for all audiences. 

The first “Hotel Transylvania” is a lasting memory. Running a hotel for monsters? Novel concept and know that when you are in a real hotel, it is a place for all to stay and enjoy a vacation. 


Copyright 2022  Marie Asner