Paul Backstrom

Typically, October, due to Halloween’s presence in the month, is where we see a bumper crop of horror movies. It is hard to look at any streaming service or theater releases and not see the lack of diversity in the genre of movies being released. I love horror movies, I should say I love good horror movies which seem to be in short supply. So, when Netflix started hyping a comedy for October, I took notice. I will admit I was not super enthused when I say it was an Adam Sandler comedy but he has had some decent films in the last couple of years like the Hotel Transylvania series and Uncut Gems.

Hubie Halloween is the story about Hubie Dubois a man from Salem who has a lot of passion for people to have a safe and enjoyable Halloween. However, the residents of his town only seek to mock and ridicule him over his obsession as well as his eccentric ways. This Halloween is different though, something is kidnapping people and it is up to Hubie to help save Halloween before it is too late.

Surprise, surprise we have another movie that is written by an actor. With our history over the last couple of months with an actor writing screenplays, this is probably not going to turn out well. Now granted Sandler has a cowriter in Tim Herlihy, and Sandler to his credit has written more movies than any of the other actors we have viewed this summer. The plot is not too bad, honestly. I could actually like this movie and respect it for what it is trying to do but then we get to the acting.

Oh, my goodness, Sandler needs to turn it back a notch or ten. I disliked Hubie in this movie so much. Sandler didn’t need to give Hubie that goofy voice, it totally took me out of the movie. One of the things that I don’t like about some of Sandler’s movies is that they tend to be more live action cartoons than comedies, and this one is definitely a cartoon. I think that voice just really reminded me of how much this was going to be a plain absurd movie and it was. The rest of the characters in this movie were also cartoony but not as extreme as Sandler. It was sort of nice to see several actors who I haven’t been watching for a while like Kevin James, Rob Schneider, and Tim Meadows. However as nice as it was to see them, they just filled the same old roles they usually played.

Overall, I would give this movie a D+ (a pretty poor movie). Hubie Halloween is a masterclass on how not to do a comedy. This is disappointing because even though I am not an Adam Sandler fan, he has made some decent movies in the last couple of years. I get that comedies tend not to dwell on characters but the ones in this film are so nonsensical and weird that they actually pull me out of the movie. This could have been a really good movie, if they would have made Hubie our hero more likeable and sympathetic. Also, the voice that Sandler uses for Hubie felt to me like fingernails on a chalk board. The rest of the cast is rounded out by Sandler’s usual friends like Rob Schneider, Steve Buscemi, and Tim Meadows. They don’t really add anything to the movie but they are not as annoying as Sandler so that is a win. I was really hoping to get a good laugh out of this movie but it was more of a headache. Skip this one unless you are super fan of Sandler and even then don’t go in with any big expectations.

Hubie Halloween is rated PG-13 for crude and suggestive content, language, and brief teen partying. The film was directed Steven Brill and written by Tim Herlihy and Adam Sandler. Hubie Halloween stars Adam Sandler, Kevin James, and Julie Bowen.

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