Adam Sandler is an interesting actor. Apart from a few winners here and there, a lot of people just don’t like a majority of what he does, and I’ll admit that I’ve often found myself rolling my eyes at the news of yet another Adam Sandler flick, especially if its found on Netflix. Even so, I still think I appreciate a lot of what he does more so than the typical audience member. I’ve heard both good and bad things surrounding Hubie Halloween, just as I typically hear the same for any other Adam Sandler movie, but no matter if it’s good or bad, no film should bring in the amount of supercilious contempt that often follows Sandler around. Let’s get crackin!
This review is brought to you by the word of the day Supercilious:
Haughtily disdainful or contemptuous.
Hubie Halloween focuses on Hubie Dubois, a selfless Salem native that vows to make sure everyone is protected and safe on Halloween night, even though he is easily scared. This year seems to be more difficult than normal because a dangerous man has escaped from an insane asylum nearby, and is headed straight for Salem. Not only that, but Hubie’s own neighbor seems to be off in one way or another. Can Hubie and his super-thermos do what’s needed to survive this year’s Halloween?
I’ve seen a lot of hate for this movie, and some praise. That’s basically to be expected because one, it’s a Netflix original movie, two, it’s Adam Sandler, and three, it’s a comedy, and comedies are among the most subjective genres in general. So, regardless on what people said about it, I knew that what I experienced with the movie would be different than anybody else. I hoped for the best, anyway. I’m a rare breed of humans that have never really liked a lighter Halloween film, whether it be a family film like Halloween Town, Hocus Pocus or the like, or something like Hubie Halloween, which is isn’t a light as a family film, but is far from dark. So, I was predisposed to not immediately love the movie, but truth be told, I did enjoy it. I did, and I think that mostly had to do with the cast and slapstick humor, which brought me way back to the late ’90s, early 2000s with Adam Sandler specifically, who once again, brought back his lisp thing. I didn’t know if that would work for this, now, 54-year-old, but I think it was mostly nostalgia because we haven’t heard it in a long time.
I also liked that the movie had just a pinch of heart. The whole film revolves around a man that lives with the highest-held integrity that all of us in 2020 can inspire to do, as well. He constantly does the right thing, whether or not anybody is paying attention. That’s just the thing; in all his life, he has never been taken seriously. Instead, he’s often seen as the annoying guy. Even the police in the town know he’s often right about certain things, but they just think he’s so annoying that it doesn’t matter. I also think that Hubie is a really good character, made better still by his ridiculous super-thermos that can apparently do anything. It’s a flashlight, a grappling hook, pepper spray, candle, telescope, and I don’t know what else. It’s basically Batman’s entire utility belt wrapped into one, and yeah, it’s stupid. But I had a good time finding what else it can do throughout the movie.
I also mentioned I liked the cast, and I did. This was like an Adam Sandler and friends’ Endgame movie. They’re all in there, and more keep popping up throughout the movie. That doesn’t necessarily make any of the cast feel like they’re born to feel their respective roles. Some do, some don’t, but the interesting thing about that is…at this point, you kind of expect to see certain faces when you watch an Adam Sandler comedy, and if you don’t, you might get disappointed. All I’m saying is you won’t be disappointed with the cast of this movie.
That being said, this film has some major issues with storytelling and plot progression. I couldn’t really tell what the movie was about. Was it about the psychopath that escaped from the prison? Was it about Hubie’s next door neighbor? Was it about his crush on the hottie in town? Was it about the other masked menace we see stalking people in the town? Honestly? What’s it about? I mean, you got Hubie bouncing from place to place trying to do the right thing, but none of it really has a common denominator here, and when it has such a disjointed story, it’s hard to stay focused as an audience member, and it’s especially hard to care about certain details. I liked the shoutouts to certain horror films, like Halloween, Scream, and maybe it’s because I just watched the entire series, but I saw hints of Fright Night in there, too. That’s cool, and maybe that was partially the point, but a story is only as good as its characters, and the characters are only as good as the story, and one thing without the other is a problem.
That’s why, at the end of the day, I think this movie is fine. It’s definitely safe, and certainly comedic at times, but it’s far from anything special that you’ll be dying to watch again. I do think it’s slightly possible that some people will add this to their list of films to watch every year in October, but it’s not for everyone. Let’s go ahead and break down my final score.
From an unbiased, technical level, I gotta say that this movie was mostly business as usual. It made some interesting choices here and there for costume and makeup, and like I said, the character of Hubie isn’t bad, but the story is lacking significantly, which brought down the technical score to 66%. My biased score is slightly lower at 64% because this isn’t the kind of movie that I immediately want to see again, nor own, nor really recommend. It’s fun for what it is, but that’s about it. Averaging out the two scores together, we come to the final rating of 65%, 65 out of 100 possible stars, or a D letter grade.
As far as Netflix is concerned, this is business as usual. I rarely love what Netflix gives us, so I wasn’t outright disappointed. In fact, I had a good time while watching it, I just don’t think it’s the best Halloween movie that exists. I’d like to hear what you guys have to say about Hubie Halloween in the comments section down below. Did this slapstick comedy work for you? And as always, until next time…