Review: Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation2 July 2018
After an exhaustive experience being the painfully uninterested tag-along to my sister’s shopping spree at both Sephora and Mecca Maxima, Melbourne Central’s pre-release event for Hotel Transylvania 3 was upon us. Not that I knew it was an advance screening. Yep, my sister and I rocked up thinking it would go down all incognito style, i.e. no one noticing two childless adults slipping in to unabashedly enjoy a very much child-oriented animated film, then dashing out before anyone could question our sensibilities. What actually awaited us was so, so much more.
It was as we were queuing up to get our names ticked off that things became clearer. The waiting area was filled with little kids (so little I honestly wanted to ask them if they’d even been alive when the first film came out) running around, parents regretting taking Saturdays off, and … yeah, no, that was actually it. That’s right, on that very moment, the idea of a young adult wanting to catch a flick was pure blasphemy. I almost considered posing as my sister’s child to lessen the blows to our pride, but the thought didn’t last long when I couldn’t figure out how to actually do that. The real icing on the cake though? When we reached the counter and they asked whether we’d gotten our tickets from Sony Pictures (which we had) or Smooth FM. Realising just who this event was catering towards, it dawned on me that neither my sister nor I really understood just what we had joined. So many of these families were here because they’d been listening to Smooth FM. Speaks for itself, really.
The “event” part of the screening began when the characters Frankenstein and Murray (the mummy) arrived to say hello and take pictures. As much I wanted a photo to commemorate the experience, my sister reminded me of our priorities by lining up outside the cinema doors early and ordering me to lock my elbows and prepare to bowl over some toddlers in the pursuit of free popcorn and Coca-Cola.
Once in our seats, we endured an awkward attempt to get the audience excited (I could’ve sworn the guy was a regular worker paid extra to act like an MC) and a raffle that once again reminded us how out-of-place we were (the prizes were goodie bags for the kids and a spa voucher for the “tired” parents). That didn’t stop my sister from holding my arm hostage and whispering fervently under her breath that we’d win.
Finally, we watched the film.
While not as great as the first instalment, I did enjoy this one better than its predecessor, and I’d attribute that to the scale of the film. Having the Drac Pack leave the hotel and go on vacation aboard a cruise ship made this adventure a refreshing addition to the series. There were new characters and new locations to keep the viewers entertained, as well as scenes where the less prominent monsters were given a chance to be in the spotlight. The film was visually appealing with its bright colours and clean 3D animation. There were some scenes, like the arrival at the Bermuda Triangle, which had me in awe. Visual gags and repetitive punchlines dominated the story, which was a bit of a shame since I was hoping for the witty humour that the first film did so well. Lastly, I can’t not mention the songs that littered the film, especially since they were an integral part of the story. I was pleasantly reminded of some old school bops and the original EDM songs were so good I need them on my Spotify playlist, stat!
Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation is in cinemas 28 June.