Transformania: How Good Is The Mania?

Transylvania 4: Transformania has just hit the OTT platforms, but it is not off to a great start. It is ranked the lowest on IMDb among the Transylvania movies. While the previous movie was ranked 6.3, Transformania reached a new low for the series at 6.1.’

It is quite common for movies series these days to lose track in the later movies with the attempt to keep the series running. As a result, they lose the charm that defined the previous movies and captured the audience. Something similar has happened with the Hotel Transylvania movies.

A recurring plot theme, absence of new characters, and the limited role of supporting characters have brought the fourth installment in the Transylvania series down. Read on to find out more. SPOILER WARNING.

Predictable Plot

Hey, do you remember Drac messing up, Mavis getting angry and rushing to sort things out, and Drac having a dislike for Johnny? Yeah, you don’t really have to. It is the same theme that has been repeated in three out of four Transylvania movies.

Similar to parts 1 and 2 of Transylvania, Drac has a profound fear of the unknown, which is basically humans. He attempts to guard and protect two of his most precious treasures in the world: Mavis and his hotel. While in the first part it was Mavis, in the fourth it is the hotel. In the second part, his fear of humans is expressed in a different way, as he tries to bring out the vampire in Dennis, his grandson.

Image Courtesy: Amazon Prime Video

Drac and His Antics

Similar to parts 1 and 2, Drac gets up to some mischief in part 4 unknown to Mavis. In part 4, he plans to retire and spend time with Ericka, his newfound love. He is supposed to hand over the hotel to Mavis. However, he is not so sure about Johnny being given control of the hotel. We have seen since the first movie that Drac had a dislike for Johnny and his methods. This applied from his tastes in music and parties to the way in which Dennis was being raised.

When Johnny finds out that he and Mavis will be inheriting the hotel, he gets excited. When he attempts to thank Drac, Drac makes up a law that apparently does not allow humans to inherit property from monsters.

Needless to say, Johnny finds a way to transform into a monster with the help of Van Helsing. The catch here is that the transformation never ends until there is no Johnny, but just a mindless monster. At the same time, when Drac attempts to return Johnny to his human form, he accidentally transforms himself into a human.

Here begins the adventure. Hiding the events here from Mavis, Johnny, and Drac journey to South America to find a way to re-transform both of them.

Image Courtesy: IMDb

This plot ends up so similar to the first two parts. It becomes quite predictable from the beginning, just 15 minutes into the movie. From there on, it is just a matter of what is different in the story, instead of hoping for something actually new.

After part 3 changed the basic theme of the plot, fans could have actually hoped to see something new in the 4th part as well. Alas, they will have to settle for this.

Old Story, Old Faces

One thing that part 4 has missed is that no new characters have been added to the movie. Since part 1, we have been introduced to new characters in each movie. Even in the 1st part, Johnny was introduced as an outsider. In part 2, Dennis is a new character, and the story is centered around him. In part 3, Van Helsing and his great-granddaughter, Ericka are introduced.

Part 4 misses out on any new additions, save for a guinea pig that is experimented on and transformed into a monster. New characters could have filled the space where the plot failed. Since the 1st part of Transylvania, the plot has been centered around new characters.

Side Characters Stay On The Side

Apart from Drac, Johnny, Mavis, and maybe Ericka, the others do not really play a role in the movie. They are merely used to distract the viewers from the lack of true comedy in the events of Transformania.

And to be honest, most of the humor that these characters are involved in was from the trailer itself, save for Frankenstein’s gimmick. Frank is transformed into a handsome human, and he gets obsessed. He loves his hair, while the others seem disinterested in his obsession over himself.

The only time the characters really come into the main picture is at the end of the movie. This is when they shield Mavis from the sunlight so that she can re-transform Johnny into a human. Even here, it feels like this bit existed just so these characters would have something to do. That is, to bring out a few hearty laughs after they transform into humans.

Drac Loses Humor Along With Fangs

In the previous parts, Drac could actually bring out a few laughs with his antics and his iconic “Bleh, bleh bleh” (you know you read it in Drac’s voice). In part 4, Drac’s comedy is him getting used to being a human.

Image Courtesy: IMDb

He endures mosquito bites, being stinky without a bath, getting bitten by piranhas, sweating, trekking, and overcomes his fear of the sun. While they cannot be entirely demerited, Drac could have done better.

Father-Son Time

While Drac lures Johnny away from Mavis to the trip, saying he wants some father-son time, it kind of actually happens. Throughout the trip, Drac is convinced that Johnny will mess things up, just as he was sure he would mess the hotel up when he inherited it. However, this does end up giving us a few hearty moments. Drac realizes he needs to lighten up and see the positives for a while. In the end, this is what saves everyone from an oversized monster Johnny.

All in all, Transformania could have been done much better. Something more could have been added to it than just the basic plot of Drac going on a secret mission, only for Mavis to find him at the end. One of the recurrent events in Transylvania is new characters, but Transformania misses out on this. Moreover, the other characters were on the sidelines for the entire movie. However, the lowest-rated Transylvania movie did deliver some character development on the part of Drac. Hopefully, Drac will go easier on Johnny from here on.


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