REVIEW | Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation

Review by Dustin Heller

Count Dracula and the crew are taking a break from haunting and going on a summer vacation in Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, the third movie in the Hotel Transylvania franchise.  The director of the first two installments, Genndy Tartakovsky, is back in the driver’s seat for this sequel, where he also serves as co-writer along with Michael McCullers.  Adam Sandler reprises his role as Dracula and brings along a lot of his friends to help with the voice work, such as Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kathryn Hahn, Kevin James, David Spade, Steve Buscemi and Mel Brooks.  Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation is rated PG for some action and rude humor.

Count Dracula is terribly lonely now that Mavis has a family of her own, and he would love nothing more than to jump back into the dating pool.  The only problem is that he already zinged with Mavis’ mom and everyone knows you can only zing once.  Noticing his sad emotional state, Mavis thinks they could all use a vacation, so she books a luxurious monster cruise for the entire gang.

Once aboard, Drac is immediately mesmerized by the female captain of the ship, Ericka–a human with a secret that could change everything.  As Drac goes about bumbling his way through dates and conversations, Ericka is secretly concocting a plan that would exact revenge on the monster that has been haunting her family for decades.

When a movie is a big hit with audiences and makes a killing at the box office, the sequel is often rushed into production, and the final product is not always up to par with the original.   This theory usually comes across as a money grab by the studio, but it’s not always the case. The third installment in the Hotel Transylvania franchise might very well be the best one yet.  Getting to see the monsters out of their element on vacation was not only new and fresh, but also very clever.

This tweak to the storyline really opened the gates for some creative comedy and hilarious voice work.  Speaking of voice work, I’m afraid that Adam Sandler’s days of being funny in front of the camera might be behind us, but he’s perfect in this role.  His wacky take on Dracula is entertaining and vintage Sandler…like, Happy Gilmore and The Waterboy Sandler.

Another noteworthy advantage of sending the monsters on vacation was the opportunity to brighten up the animation.  This is a movie to see on the big screen because the animation is downright gorgeous.  Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation is a movie both children and adults will enjoy, and as the title suggests, a great way to spend your summer vacation.

Grade:  A-

Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation opens nationwide on Friday, July 13