This weekend, though many dads will be super-pumped by the Rock’s stunts in the new action blockbuster, Skyscraper, many families will nonetheless be seeing a different powerhouse film: Hotel Transylvania 3. And while you may not think much of threequels, it’s actually not bad. In fact, like its two predecessors, Hotel Transylvania 3 has just enough monster wit to keep you entertained, and just enough nonsense to keep your kids laughing.
Because this is the third installment in the franchise, however, you and your little ones might have questions. There’s a lot going on. Which is why, whether you’re standing in line for the movie or just home from seeing it, we’ve got you covered. Here are the five biggest questions about Hotel Transylvania 3, answered.
(Mild spoilers for Hotel Transylvania 3 follow.)
What Happened in Hotel Transylvania 1?
In the first movie, Dracula established a safe-haven for monsters called Hotel Transylvania. Less of a hotel, and more of a compound, the idea was for all the monsters to hide from the world. When his daughter Mavis befriends a human named Johnny, however, the count starts to think differently about human beings.
What Happened in Hotel Transylvania 2?
The second movie is a little bit more important in relation to what’s happening in the new movie, and that’s because the second movie takes place seven years after the first one. By this time, Mavis and Johnny are grown-up and married. Much of the plot revolves around their son, Denis, who is half human and half vampire.
How Come Dracula Can Be Out in the Sun?
Because he’s wearing sunscreen. In fairness, the idea that vampires can get a little bit of sun is widely established in a variety of movies and books. Twilight famously made the sun-exposed vamps “shimmer” a little bit, while award-winning author Karen Russell had some vampires hanging out in shady spots in the title story of Vampires in the Lemon Grove. In other words, if your kids think the vampires shouldn’t be allowed on a cruise or in the sun, let them know that’s just a bias people have about vampires.
Who is Van Helsing? (Why Does Ericka Want to Kill Dracula?)
In the movie, Ericka Van Helsing is the great grand-daughter of Abraham Van Helsing. Who the heck is that? Well, in Bram Stoker’s original Dracula novel ⏤ and in nearly every single adaptation, from the 1931 Bela Lugosi movie to Penny Dreadful to the Hugh Jackman movie ⏤ Van Helsing is a vampire hunter. In other narratives, we would think of Van Helsing as a good guy, but because monster movies (including Hotel Transylvania) are inherently sympathetic to monsters, Van Helsing is always kind of a character there to ruin the monster mash. In this movie, Ericka is just trying to complete the work of her great-grandfather, even though she doesn’t know monsters are nice, now and forever.
Are the Monsters in the Movie Like the “Real” Monsters They’re Based Upon?
Okay, so maybe this isn’t a question every single kid has, but it might be one parents are wondering about. There are a lot of literary and cinematically famous monsters in all three Hotel Transylvania movies. But do any of them correspond to the “regular” version of these monsters? The short answer is this: Hotel Transylvania is actually not unfaithful to one specific kind of monster story. Specficillcally, if you look at just the famous Universal monster movies released from the ’30s through the ’50s, you’ll find nearly every single thing from Dracula to the Invisible Man checks out. So, if your older kids are really into the characters in Hotel Transylvania, it’s time to start letting them watch those old black-and-white monster movies, too. Yes, the 1931 Dracula is scary, but it’s also pretty bloodless. If you’ve got Starz, you can stream the original Dracula through Amazon Prime right now.
– ‘Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation is out in theaters now.-
This article was originally published on