It’s October 31st in Salem, Massachusetts, and a town’s eccentric, devoted community volunteer Hubie Dubois (Adam Sandler) and the good-natured object of his fellow citizen’s derision and meanest pranks, finds himself in the midst of a real investigation, for a real murderer.
Back in 2019 during the awards season, actor Adam Sandler stated that he would make a movie as horrible as humanly possible if he did not win an Oscar for his performance as Howard Ratner in the Safdie brothers’ Uncut Gems. Although the movie was incredible and his performance was show-stopping, he got no love from the Academy as he didn’t even receive a nomination.
Fast-forward to this October and now we have Hubie Halloween, his latest project following the aforementioned Uncut Gems, and even though this latest effort from Sandler isn’t one-hundred percent terrible, it is definitely a really bad movie. We can’t say he didn’t warn us.
Practically everything about this new movie from director Steven Brill feels like an Adam Sandler movie in the worst way possible. It reminded me of the films he used to make in the early to mid-2010s. No, it’s not as awful as the abysmal Pixels and it’s certainly not as bad as Jack and Jill, but something about the film carries that same Adam Sandler comedy feel to it.
It’s really a big shame that Sandler started to churn out horrendous movies after a while, because back in the 90s, I genuinely thought he was a hilarious guy. I’ve probably seen Happy Gilmore more than fifteen times now because I love it that much. Billy Madison is also a favorite of mine.
But after a while, he just started to make exclusively bad films it seems. Hubie Halloween is one-hundred-percent supposed to be a comedy. While there are a few jokes every once in a while that land, the majority of them make you wince and shake your head because they are so weak. A lot of them come across as nothing more but dad jokes.
I genuinely don’t understand who this movie is marketed towards, either. It has some pop culture references in there so it sort of feels like it may be aimed toward a younger demographic but at the same time, a lot of the jokes feel like they were supposed to make an older crowd laugh. Either way, the film quite simply falls flat of being funny for the majority of the time.
Something that took me completely off-guard in the first couple of minutes was Adam Sandler’s accent. Like I do for every movie, I did not watch a single trailer for Hubie Halloween, despite how tempting it was. Everybody I knew was talking about how insanely weird it looked, and I had to try my best to stay away from looking at even ten seconds of a trailer. So whenever Hubie Dubois first spoke in the movie, it surprised me completely.
For the first little while, I was a bit iffy as to how I felt about it, but as the film progressed, I found myself getting used to his accent after a while. And although Sandler doesn’t do anything remarkable as an actor here, he does play Dubois in a way that makes his character extremely likable.
The movie does do a decent enough job of building a world that feels campy and crazy as well. A lot of the characters living in this movie are extremely bizarre and mysterious which was fun to watch. The problem though is that we barely spend any time with any character in the film besides the titular Hubie.
As a result, it makes it hard for us to care about anybody else besides Hubie. The film suffers greatly from poor character development across the board as well as a horrendously corny and dull script that feels like a rough draft. Hubie Halloween was meant to be a fun Halloween romp, but it mostly comes across as tired and painfully cringy.
Hubie Halloween gives us a goofy and fun Adam Sandler performance, but it still suffers tremendously from an awful script full of bad jokes and flat characters.
Overall Grade: D+
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for crude and suggestive content, language, and brief teen partying
Directed by: Steven Brill
Distributed by: Netflix
Release Date: October 7, 2020
Running Time: 102 minutes