HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2 – Review by Susan Granger

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When the original animated kiddie comedy, featuring Adam Sandler as amiable Count Dracula, the proprietor of a monsters-only resort, became a 2012 hit, a sequel was inevitable. Drac is now a grandfather, courtesy of his daughter, Mavis (pop star Selena Gomez), and her human husband, Jonathan (Andy Samberg). Overprotective Mavis is understandably concerned about childproofing the creaky, old hotel, leaving Drac faced with the challenges of technology. Read on…

Most disturbing of all: Drac’s cherubic, red-headed grandson, Dennis (Asher Blinkoff), appears to be more human than vampire. And if his fangs don’t descend by the time he’s five, it will be too late. So, once again, “vampa” (a.k.a. vampire grandpa) Drac must seek a little help from his friends.

Fearful of raising Dennis with monsters, Mavis covertly checks out her husband Johnny’s woodsy Santa Cruz, California, hometown, while visiting with his parents (Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally).

Meanwhile, Drac and his pals take little Dennis and his werewolf puppy Winnie (Sadie Sandler) on a “monster-in-training” trek through newly gentrified Transylvania.

But when Drac throws Dennis from a tall tower to force his transformation into a bat, it’s filmed by campers and uploaded onto the Internet, alerting Mavis and Johnny to return home quickly.

At Dennis’ fifth birthday celebration, his great-grandfather, human-hating Vlad (Mel Brooks) appears with his bat-servant Bela (Rob Riggie). And Vlad’s furious that Drac has welcomed humans into the monsters-only lodging.

Along for the ride are Frankenstein (Kevin James) with his wife (Fran Drescher), Werewolf Wayne (Steve Buscemi) with his wife (Molly Shannon), Murray the Mummy (Keegan-Michael Key), Griffin the Invisible Man (David Spade), Blobby the green Blob (Jonny Solomon), a musician known as Phantom of the Opera (Jon Lovitz), and the Fly (Chris Parnell), the Hotel’s fitness instructor.

Formulaically scripted by Robert Smigel (SNL’s “TV Funhouse” cartoons) and Adam Sandler, it’s predictably directed by Genny Tartakovsky – with an emphasis on silly, slapstick comedy and zany sight gags.

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Hotel Transylvania 2” is a spooky 6 – a family Halloween treat.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.