Turn off the Lights

Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation Review

"This blah, blah, blah formula inexplicably works"
The Drac Pack is back for one more adventure in the monster mash with humanity, where the message is one of acceptance and being ‘greater than the haters.’ A formula from writer and director Genndy Tartakovsky that has managed to enchant audiences and win them over to the likes of monsterkind. With the family and friends of the legendary vampire on board with connecting with humans, the story turns to the loneliness of the patriarch and determining if he can find love and that special ‘zing’ again.  The lovelorn isolation that Drac (Adam Sandler) is experiencing leads to a misunderstanding by his daughter and business partner, Mavis (Selena Gomez) who assumes his emotional state is due to exhaustion from work. His caring daughter decides to surprise her father with a family cruise that includes all of his friends. At first, the gift is considered a bad idea by Dracula until he meets the ship’s mysterious captain Ericka (Kathryn Hahn) who the Transylvanian hotel owner becomes smitten with instantly. As his perspective on the water-based journey changes, the rest of his family and friends get on with enjoying all of the wonders of the luxurious journey that only a monster could love.  Between the monster volleyball games and the moon-tanning on their own private island, something does not sit well with Mavis as she believes there is more to budding Dracula and Erika's relationship than just romance. Even with a change in locations and scenery, this chapter of Hotel Transylvania relies on the mysterious formula that keeps families coming back to this dark children’s tale. All of the characters are back to add to the madness of the seafaring adventure, but Sandler and Tartakovsky manage to squeeze every last drop of life out of this beastly tale.  The first two chapters focused more on the ensemble cast to carry things along, but this time Sandler takes center stage. The entourage complements the storyline, but the love story and revenge undercurrent all swirl around the vampire, which seems appropriate for the final phase of this trilogy. With the softening of the vampire’s reputation in the eyes of parents and children, the screenplay manages to capitalize on the three classic family film elements of love, family and overcoming hate. The central character must wrestle with finding new love and how to ensure he does not allow this ‘zing’ to impede his relationships with his family and friends. Even when Drac inevitably discovers the devious plans of his new found romance, he must rise above the anger of others to set an example for all involved. Which all leads to familiar territory for the majority of children’s films, but this franchise unapologetically seems comfortable to deliver this to their fans in an entertaining manner. Even though the premise of the monster holiday is based on a surprise vacation, there is nothing in the movie that will shock followers of this series, but why try to fix something that is not broken. The familiarity of the Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation still manages to hold enough water to carry this series through to completion. A monstrous tale that will not scare children, but will provide parents with another option during the holiday season.  What should parents know about Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation?   This franchise is a surprise. The involvement of Adam Sandler will give many parents pause to consider taking along their child to this film due to his reputation for films based on crude, toilet humor. But he proves that things can go right in Hollywood every once and awhile. A family-friendly message is a positive option during the school holidays. Overall that message focusses on the value of family and community.
  • Family-friendly
  • Good choice for parents
  • The formula works for the third time
  • Nothing new to the franchise
  • Hopefully the end of this series


Meet the Author

About / Bio
Bio and image
Russell is an American ex-pat who has been transplanted in his new home of Sydney. He is a reviewer for Insights Magazine and the blog Russelling Reviews. He moderates events called Reel Dialogue (reeldialogue.com) which connects the film industry with the general public.

Follow Us