It’s round 3 for the Hotel Transylvania franchise and boy has it returned with a fresh coat of paint. While I enjoyed both of the first movies, I never revisited them after seeing them at the cinema. So let’s have a recap shall we?
The first film, Dracula’s motivation is to prevent his teenage daughter from falling for Johnny, a *dreamy* human being who finds himself at the monsters-only resort. The sequel, set in the future, reunites the original characters as Dracula attempts to make his half-monster half-human grandson turn into a full monster, and stay closer to his daughter.
This time the film, directed by Genndy Tartakovsky and featuring the same star-studded cast with the likes of Chrissy Tegan and Joe Jonas added to the list, attempts to continue the exploration of Dracula and Mavis’s father-daughter relationship. The difference in this film being that now it is Mavis’s turn to be protective of Dracula, even if he is finally doing something truly for himself.
I’ll be honest; I didn’t have high expectations for this film. Although the trailer had all the right clips to entice a family animation film fan such as myself, I had my doubts.
Many of the second and third films in a franchise are nothing more than a quick cash grab, and although in many cases they switch up the scenery and add a few new faces, it can stray too far from the main values of the original film.
As a bit of a film snob, I try not to take light popcorn flicks too seriously, and view them for their intended purpose – entertainment. In this regard, Hotel Transylvania 3 delivered.
The story begins with Dracula. While he has his daughter, son-in-law and grandson, it’s clear he is missing something – Love. *Cue aww sounds*
Mavis senses that something is up, and surprises her dad with a family holiday on a luxury Monster Cruise Ship. It doesn’t take long for Dracula to find romance when he meets the ship captain, Ericka, who turns out to be a descendant of Abraham Van Helsing (the arch enemy to all monsters including Dracula).
The trailer was a pretty spot on representation of what was to come – but the jokes played out longer making for some very cringe-worthy humour at times. For me, this is right up my alley and the rest of the audience seemed to enjoy it too.
Despite having some new characters to choose from, Mavis was my clear favourite. Just like the first two films, Hotel Transylvania stuck to its original values surrounding the importance of family. Mavis has a very strong connection with her father and it shows. After years of being overly protected by him – she understands that Dracula is a very vulnerable person (well, monster) and takes responsibility for his happiness. This relationship is one that I’m sure many viewers can relate to.
I also enjoyed the character of Ericka. This was the first film in the franchise that had a clear cut villain and she certainly ticked all the boxes of what we would expect (even being on a cruise ship full of monsters).
The refreshing change of scenery with the characters we know and love makes for a familiar yet new and exciting story that will have you shamelessly giggling in your seat at its classic silly humour, all while seeing a new side of Dracula and Mavis .
While this family film is undoubtedly aimed towards kids under 12, it’s definitely one that adults can enjoy too! Hotel Transylvania 3 is nothing spectacular, it’s an enjoyable sequel to its former films and provides more than enough of a plot shakeup to warrant its own creation. While semi-predictable, there are plenty of twists and turns in the film that makes for a seamless three-act structure with plenty of humour weaved in to keep the audience entertained.