Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation Movie Poster Image
Monster threequel is silly fun, with a few scary parts.
  • PG
  • 2018
  • 97 minutes

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 27 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 42 reviews

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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Kids will be introduced to classic monsters in a harmless way. Kids will also learn the benefits of communication, tolerance, diversity, and understanding that it's OK to love someone from a different background.

Positive Messages

Positive messages include importance of tolerance, letting go of old grudges, being open to new relationships, fighting prejudice, communicating with your family members, parents reconnecting as partners, and celebrating family and friends. "You have to honor the past, but we make our own future."

Positive Role Models & Representations

Drac is a caring, attentive grandfather, even though he lies about where Dennis is in one scene. He loves his daughter, son-in-law, and friends and would do anything to protect them. He falls for Ericka even though she's human and is willing to overlook her past and ancestry. Ericka learns to look past her family's legacy and decides to see the good in Dracula. There are a couple of slightly insensitive jokes toward women -- for example, on a dating app, Drac matches with a photo of a beautiful witch, only to video chat with her and discover she's a warty old crone. And a trio of randy witches seem to only care about chasing Vlad. Some German stereotyping. Frank appears to be a gambling addict.

Violence & Scariness

The Van Helsings go after Dracula and other monsters with weapons (ray guns, etc.) and schemes; an early montage includes fights, chases, crashes, and more -- injuries happen but aren't lingered on. In one sequence, Ericka purposely puts herself in danger to see if Dracula will save her; he does (from booby traps galore). At the beginning of the movie, a monster with spikes nearly impales Mavis, but it's played for laughs. The most frightening scene is when a large, scary Kraken starts to attack all the monsters on Atlantis and nearly kills everyone. A human/robot hybrid can be creepy. A little werewolf bites off Frankenstein's finger. In a comedic sequence, an airline called Gremlin Air features the chaotic monsters nearly injuring everyone on the plane. Underwater volcano. Slapstick falls.

Sexy Stuff

Two newly married monsters kiss at their wedding. Jonathan and Mavis cuddle and hold hands. Drac briefly uses a monster version of a Tinder-like app to look for online dates. Three buxom, randy witches stare at Vlad in his (very skimpy) bathing suit and chase/make flirtatious overtures toward him. Drac and Erika dance, flirt, and kiss. Lots of talk about "zinging" -- which is monster talk for falling in love at first sight. A few butt-focused jokes/visual gags. A minor character is very voluptuous. References to "looking hot" and "working it." Shirtless male waitstaff.


A couple of fart jokes because vampires are "garlic intolerant." Jonathan tells Mavis she did a "cute toot." A suggestive comment or two: "Would you like to see my parts?" and "stitches in all the right places."


On camera: close-ups of Sony electronics, particularly an Xperia mobile phone. Off camera, the movie series has many tie-in products: apparel, games, figurines, toys, etc.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Champagne, drinks at cruise events. El Chupacabra's drink of choice is a goat in a glass. Two characters are drugged and hidden/captured.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation -- the third film in the Hotel Transylvania series -- follows Dracula (voiced by Adam Sandler) and his monster pals, including his half-human daughter, Mavis (Selena Gomez), and her family -- on a luxury monster cruise vacation. There's a bit more scary stuff/violence here than in the previous films; much of it is comic, but there are some tense chases, crashes, and confrontations, a creepy robot/human hybrid, and a long sequence involving an enormous sea monster on a rampage. Expect a few mildly suggestive remarks and moments -- butt jokes, buxom witches chasing after an elderly vampire in a skimpy bathing suit, etc. -- and a few unflattering depictions of female characters, like a beautiful witch on a dating app who turns out to be a warty troll. There's also a fair bit of romance in the movie, but it's limited to flirting, dancing, and a couple of kisses. Positive messages include embracing diversity, letting go of negative feelings and grudges, believing in the power of love, parents and kids communicating with each other, and the importance of parents reconnecting as partners, not just co-parents.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 3 and 8-year-old Written byMartins2010 August 16, 2018

Not good..annoying, and inappropriate

Lots of cleavage, lots of "advances" and the girl basically lies to him to get him to love her so she can kill him. The father is creepy and encourage... Continue reading
Adult Written byRandall W. October 10, 2020

Worst movie ever.

Hotel Transylvania 3 is a disgrace to the Hotel Transylvania franchise. I came to the theater with my wife and my son Jeremy hoping to be entertained. I loved t... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old July 13, 2019

Insulting Mess; Worst of the Franchise

My high expectations for the film went downhill, fast. This threequel to the Hotel Transylvania franchise ruins it on every aspect of the film. Its utterly chil... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byDogcat September 18, 2020

Too childish and amp; boring.

We’re watching this movie right now on Disney Channel. (Which is weird because I don’t think this is a Disney movie.) I put two stars because I laughed in parts... Continue reading

What's the story?

HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3: SUMMER VACATION starts with an 1897-set prologue that introduces monster slayer Van Helsing (voiced by Jim Gaffigan), whose family has tried unsuccessfully for generations to kill Dracula and all other monsters. Back in the present, Dracula (Adam Sandler) is busy coordinating another monster wedding when he realizes that all of his close friends are coupled off. Feeling lonely, he tries online dating but quickly decides it's not for him. His daughter, Mavis (Selena Gomez), catches him looking frazzled and has a brilliant idea to de-stress her dad: a family vacation. So Drac, Mavis, Jonathan (Andy Samberg), little Dennis, and the rest of the gang head off on a luxury monster cruise to Atlantis, where human captain Ericka (Kathryn Hahn) makes everyone feel comfortable. Once Drac lays eyes on Ericka, he immediately "zings" with her -- the monster version of love at first sight. The only problem is that Ericka is actually a Van Helsing, and she's determined to fulfill her family legacy...

Is it any good?

This "threequel" lives up to the standards of its predecessors, which means it's fairly silly but promotes positive messages. These movies aren't Pixar-level masterpieces that kids and parents will want to watch on repeat, but kids really do respond to the jokes, the monsters and their physical comedy, and the sweet family dynamics. Not that there aren't jokes for adults, too; a funny subplot about overwhelmed werewolf couple Wayne (Steve Buscemi) and Wanda (Molly Shannon) marveling at the fact the cruise has a kids' club where they can drop off their dozens of boisterous cubs is aimed squarely at parents.

And while kids may not be totally caught up in Drac and Ericka's opposites-attract romance, they'll certainly care about Blobby (Genndy Tartakovsky) and the fact he can apparently turn his own blob bits into a Blobby baby and a Blobby puppy. Younger audiences partial to potty humor will also crack up at the dinner scene in which both Drac and Mavis eat overly garlicky Mexican food and suffer from gastric distress. Hotel Transylvania 3's storyline is kind of just a reverse of the original (this time it's the dad falling in love with a human, with the daughter being overprotective about the situation), but it will be more than enough to amuse fans of the franchise.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Hotel Transylvania 3's messages. What does the film have to say about love? Family? Diversity?

  • Why are monster movies so popular? Is this monster movie even scary? How does it turn classic monster-movie villains into everyday characters?

  • Who are the role models in the movie? What character strengths do they display? What role does communication play in the story?

  • Did you notice any stereotyping in the movie? How does that affect the impact of the movie's messages about tolerance and diversity?

  • How does this movie compare to the first two? Do you think there should be any more?

Movie details

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