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Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation Movie Review

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Everyone’s favorite spooky family is back in Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation. The Hotel Transylvania franchise has been an interesting one to watch in the last few years. It began with a fun concept that enabled the films to comment on monster movie stereotypes while also pushing a positive message about equality. It set up an incredible world with an endless amount of possibilities. The sequel saw some of the same things, but not quite as prominently as the original did. It started to drift away from the smart and funny commentary that the original established. The hope was that Hotel Transylvania 3 would be a return to form, but that’s not what happened. Instead, we got what is by far the worst entry in the franchise.

Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation is exactly what you’d expect it to be. It sees Dracula, his family and friends leaving the hotel to go on a cruise that is exclusively for monsters. At the helm of the ship, however, is Captain Ericka Van Helsing, descendant of the legendary hunter of monsters, Abraham Van Helsing. Dracula has no idea who she is, and “zings” the moment he lays eyes on her. Throughout the duration of the trip, Dracula attempts to woo Ericka while she, with the help of her great-great-grandfather, attempts to kill him. All the while, the monsters on the ship engage in a series of fun-filled shenanigans.

This film works best when it isn’t trying extra hard to cater to children. There are some legitimately great moments in this film. For example, there is a very fun sequence of Ericka making a series of attempts to kill Dracula, but ends up hitting Blob every time. There is also a magnificent dance sequence that perfectly encapsulates the macabre and gothic nature of Dracula. The problem is that these moments are far and few in between. Hotel Transylvania 3 spends so much time looking for jokes with its dialogue that it very rarely lets the visuals tell the story. The two scenes that I just mentioned are two of the only scenes that don’t rely at all on forced, poorly written dialogue and as a result, they are some of the most enjoyable moments in the film.

One of the most disappointing things about Hotel Transylvania 3 is the fact it doesn’t take advantage of the vast number of monsters it has at its disposal. It feels like a shame to have the Van Helsing family in this film and not showcase their interactions with monsters (other than Abraham failing to kill Dracula). Abraham Van Helsing never really feels like a threat because all we know of him is that he failed over and over to defeat Dracula. It would have benefitted the story to show Abraham being successful against other fearsome monsters since it would prove that he is a real threat. 

Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation doesn’t do anything spectacular with its animation, and though it isn’t bad by any means, it also doesn’t do anything special. The choice of music used in the film is, for the most part, good and plays extremely well into the film. You just can’t help but feel disappointed by every missed opportunity that this film just couldn’t capitalize on. The villains could have been better developed, and the monsters should have been showcased a lot better than they did. The story is okay, but it was riddled with cheesy dialogue and bad jokes that completely took away from its positive messages. This is by far the weakest film of the franchise, but it should still be a decent enough film for children to enjoy.

Hotel Transylvania 3 Summer Vacation
DIRECTOR: Genndy Tartakovsky
STUDIO: Sony Pictures
GENRE: Animated, Family, Comedy
MPAA: PG
RELEASE DATE: July 13 2018
AUTHOR: Eddie Lopez
Raymond Raymond Melendez is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief for Local San Diego Metal website sdmetal.com. Besides Heavy Metal music, Raymond is also a movie buff and Craft Beer enthusiast. Which is why he is also the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Popular Movie Review website 'MovieFloss.com' and Co-Founder of Craft Beer website 'BeerAlien.com'.

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