There’s not much to be said about this latest installment of the improbable Hotel Transylvania franchise, entitled Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation. What began as ghoulishly campy entertainment in Hotel Transylvania and quirky strangeness in Hotel Transylvania 2 has completely devolved into obnoxious mindlessness with a finale that can be seen from a mile away, standing in the Bermuda Triangle.
Business is booming at the Hotel Transylvania, and Count Drac(ula) (Adam Sandler) is feeling the stress and the loneliness that comes when you cater to the whims of the world’s monsters at the expense of your own social life. So Drac’s daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) takes it upon herself to plan a big family vacation on a monster cruise ship to the Bermuda Triangle (of course). Determined to spend more time with his family, including his grandson Dennis and his son-in-law Johnny (Andy Samberg), Drac falls head-over heels for the cruise ship’s captain, Ericka Van Helsing (Kathryn Hahn). Of the vampire slayer Van Helsings. It’s all very Capulets and Montegues, and you get the point.
What is the most frustrating about this franchise is that it probably shouldn’t exist but the premise is really good: a hotel that caters to monsters. It has the potential to be very Monster of the Week, Mystery Theater in its setup, but this isn’t a franchise looking for artistic nuance. So as a result, instead of taking this great idea and the decent-ish characters it has cultivated thus far (including the tragically underused Steve Buscemi as Wayne the werewolf), it decides to go full on nuclear. Adam Sandler over does his Dracula voice as to make it almost unbearable to listen to, and by the time the rave at the film’s climax occurs you won’t need to decide if the kids in the theater or the whats on screen is the most annoying to you. The choice will be easy.
At the end of the day, Hotel Transylvania 3 is just a loud, obnoxious, mess of a movie with a trite message shoehorned into a forgettable plot, which is remarkable since you’ve seen dozens of movies with the exact same plot, I promise.
Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation opens in Philly theaters today.
Author: Jill Malcolm
Jill is happiest attending midnight screenings with other crazy film fans at her local theater. Her other passions include reading, traveling to faraway places, cat videos, pugs, and jalapeño peppers. She is co-founder of the blog Filmhash.