A sugar-crazed animated monster comedy targeted at kids, the sequel to 2012’s ‘Hotel Transylvania’ isn’t going to get anyone scared. Instead, the filmmakers pay so much attention to crafting a relentless string of in-jokes meant for horror fans that the storyline limps along.
Struggling hotelier Drac is back (once again voiced by Adam Sandler, infinitely more bearable off-camera). He’s suffering mightily: his daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez), has gone and married mere mortal Jonathan (Andy Samberg), a shaggy-haired dude from California – it’s a real stake in the heart. But the sight of his baby grandson Dennis makes the Count’s undead spirit soar, as does the possibility that the boy might one day sprout fangs.
The movie follows Drac’s bad grandparenting, which is intended to trigger a fear response in Dennis allowing his true inhuman self to emerge. Between its huggable mummies, affably shambling spooks and decent human beings, there’s little difference between the bunch, rendering the movie’s anti-discrimination message hazy. Sparks of wit range from the inspired – an Igor-voiced GPS program that hectors its driver– to the silly, such as a morose ‘Phantom of the Opera’ crooning commentary from the organ.