Adam Sandler’s Spookiest Movie Is Streaming For Free

Adam Sandler has had one of the most successful post-SNL careers ever, and this streaming spooky movie shows why.

By Nathan Kamal | Published

Adam Sandler

Adam Sandler has had one of the most successful post-Saturday Night Live careers of all time, and he has never been afraid to jump across genres. Despite cementing his cinematic comedy reputation with crass, anarchic movies like Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore, he has become a surprisingly nuanced dramatic actor with movies like The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) and Punch-Drunk Love and even a credible romantic leading man in 50 First Dates and The Wedding Singer. One genre Adam Sandler has not really touched (so far) is horror, but Hotel Transylvania might be the closest he has yet come. Granted, it is an animated children’s movie starring family-friendly versions of the classic Universal Monsters, but still, horror is in its DNA. It is also currently streaming for free (with ads) on Amazon Prime Video’s FreeVee service. 

Adam Sandler

Hotel Transylvania stars Adam Sandler as Count Dracula, who in this particular incarnation, is less an eternal, blood-sucking creature of Godless damnation and more a well-meaning hotelier and overprotective father to Mavis (Selena Gomez, replacing Miley Cyrus after she was allegedly ousted for non-family-friendly behavior). A large part of the plot of Hotel Transylvania revolves around Mavis’ upcoming ​​118th birthday, which is treated as essentially being the eighteenth birthday for a vampire. If you are not comfortable making that leap of comedic logic, Adam Sandler’s Hotel Transylvania might not be the family movie for you. 

Adam Sandler

It is eventually revealed that Adam Sandler’s Dracula once had a wife named Martha, who was killed by a mob of angry human villagers (also, he doesn’t drink human blood because it’s too fatty, which you won’t read in Bram Stoker). Since then, he has isolated Mavis from the rest of the world and even goes so far as to get zombies to dress up as townsfolk to show his daughter how hostile the world can be. The real plot kicks in when a human hiker named ​​Jonathan “Johnny” Loughran (Andy Samberg) accidentally stumbles across the titular Hotel Transylvania and hijinks ensue, Mavis and Johnny fall in love, Adam Sandler is against it and then he is for it, he realizes he cannot keep his daughter from the world forever and that humans no longer hate monsters (debatable, but okay), and there is even a classic frantic run to the airport for the sake of love. In this version, it’s Adam Sandler as Dracula there to profess his daughter’s love for a human, which seems weird, but it works. 

As always, Adam Sandler brought his usual group of friends to voice various other classic monsters. Frequent co-star Kevin James voices an articulate and sensitive Frankenstein, while Steve Buscemi plays a werewolf named Wayne with an absurdly large brood of very nose-sensitive pups. David Spade plays the Invisible Man, Jon Lovitz is Quasimodo (who is the hotel’s chef for some reason), and a whole slew of other comedy gems like Chris Parnell, Fran Drescher, Rob Riggle, and Brian Stack show up in various roles. For some reason, CeeLo Green is also there as a mummy, though he would be replaced by the more simpatico Keegan-Michael Key in subsequent sequels. 

Hotel Transylvania had a surprisingly torturous route to theaters. Although “Adam Sandler as a cartoon vampire” feels like it is the kind of idea that would come from a Sony Pictures executive waking out of a sweaty fever dream, it was actually created by comedian and screenwriter Todd Durham. The idea was developed as a franchise from the start, which was prescient. So far, the Hotel Transylvania brand has produced four feature films, several short films, a television series, a number of video games, a few theme park attractions, and we can assume lunchboxes with Adam Sandler as Dracula on them. 

The movie passed through five different directors before landing on acclaimed animator Genndy Tartakovsky (of Dexter’s Laboratory, Samurai Jack, and Star Wars: Clone Wars fame) in his feature film directorial debut. He could have done worse than team up with Adam Sandler and the Universal Monsters for his first time in the hot seat, as the movie pulled in over $350 million at the box office and launched a whole franchise. Adam Sandler has gone on to far funnier, more successful, and more critically acclaimed films since then, but Hotel Transylvania will likely be the first time an entire generation encountered him.