The Hotel Transylvania series is an interesting one, in that the sequels are getting progressively worse. The first movie surprised me in some really pleasant ways, while the second film was still enjoyable though was nothing magnificent. Will this third movie manage to turn that curve or will it fall even further?
Dracula (Adam Sandler) along with his family and friends embark on a cruise, to have fun and spend some time together. His daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) and her new husband Johnny (Andy Samberg) realize that Dracula seems very stressed, not realizing he’s actually looking for love. He finds love when he sets eyes on the human cruise director Erica (Kathryn Hahn). However, it turns out that she’s not who she says she is and Dracula’s whole family may be in danger.
Other voices include Kevin James, David Spade, Steve Bushemi, Molly Shannon, Fran Drescher, Keegan-Michael Key, Chris Parnell, Jim Gaffigan, and Chrissy Teigen.
Unfortunately, very little. This movie has very little charm, especially considering how unique the first film was. The only redeeming quality here is the all-star cast and a semblance of charisma that some of them bring to the roles. This movie also might work with very small kids who just want bright colors and music, this movie has plenty of both.
What doesn’t work?
I’m trying to judge this movie in a variety of ways, especially considering it’s primarily a kids’ movie. I can’t compare this to Oscar-caliber films but I can compare it against other animated movies in this genre.
And compared to all of its peers, this movie flunks. I can’t remember the last time I watched a supposed comedy and stared deadpan at the screen while jokes came and went, I maybe only chuckled a time or two. The humor is a huge failure and it didn’t hit for the kids either. The only big laugh was one singular fart joke, otherwise the kids in the audience fell asleep or got antsy.
This also doesn’t have any heart. This is something that the top tier animated movies (Pixar, Dreamworks, etc) have all figured out. You don’t care about Dracula’s journey here, so you’re completely disinterested in the plot’s ups and downs. It all just didn’t really feel important.
Also, this is a weird complaint, but there were some visuals that upset my stomach. Most notably one of the villains, the archnemesis of Dracula named Van Helsing. His face, for some reason, was designed in such a way to actually make my stomach turn and every time he was on screen, it was disturbing. There were a few other visuals that might be scary or intense for children.
As of right now, this is probably my least favorite film of the year. It had absolutely no impact on me, no laughter, no tears, no anything. The plot is nonsensical and the finale will have you shaking your head in disappointment. Kids won’t enjoy this, adults won’t enjoy this, this film exists for no one. Go see Incredibles 2 again and save your money. The only saving grace is a decent cast of comedians but even they feel like they’re disinterested.