Review: Adam Sandler’s Hubie Halloween Isn’t Terrible, Which Makes It Kind Of Awesome?
Adam Sandler is fresh off of his not-Oscar nomination for one of the best performances of anyone’s career in Uncut Gems. The panic-inducing drama was one of last year’s best movies, and Sandler delivered an unexpectedly genius performance. But it didn’t last long as he slid right back into the kind of goofy comedy that he’s made a career of. In his latest Netflix original, Sandler provides a type of Halloween themed horror-comedy. So here’s my Hubie Halloween review, where I discuss how it’s not a terrible movie. Which is, in and of itself, a pretty good reason to check it out.
What’s With All The Condescending Adam Sandler Comments Shah?
Image via A24.
I’ll cop to this early in this review, I like Adam Sandler movies just about as much as I hate them. Some are immature comedies that are great to rewatch, while others are too goofy to even allow for suspended disbelief. But Sandler knows what he likes and we need to admire that kind of self-awareness. So while it’s fun to mock the actor for the bulk of his filmography, at times we need to acknowledge his performances in movies like Punch Drunk Love and Spanglish. But unlike those movies, Sandler is not cringe-inducing, as I’ll go on to discuss in this Hubie Halloween review.
A Perfect Lighthearted Halloween Horror Comedy
Image via Netflix.
Hubie Halloween is set in Salem, the town infamous for the Witch Trials. In this small-town Halloween is, understandably, a huge deal. The town’s largest economic boom of the year comes during this one holiday. So things can obviously get a little out of control with the celebrations. But the townsfolk don’t have to fret, as a local man takes the responsibility of policing the candy-filled night, whether they want him to or not.
Local buzzkill Hubie Dubois (Adam Sandler) is a town outcast, as a sad middle-aged man who loves Halloween so much, he wants it to be an orderly kind of fun. So he goes around town every year ensuring Halloween is safe, efficient and happens in an orderly fashion. For this, the townspeople ridicule, mock, and pretty much look down on him. But when people start to go missing all over town, it’s Hubie that’ll crack the case. It’s a very typical Sandler role, along the likes of The Waterboy and Little Nicky. But it a lot more restraint than we’d like to give him credit for.
Hubie Halloween Review Shows A More Restrained Sandler
Image via Netflix.
The Netflix original movie is really not bad. It tones down the usual Sandler elements into some very harmlessly charming moments. And ‘restrained’ is really the word for it. No performance is insanely over the top, and some are even downright wonderful. Sandler himself is pretty silly as Hubie, without crossing that line into obnoxious. He’s complemented by an equally goofy romantic lead this time in Modern Family’s Julie Bowen. The usual Adam Sandler movie suspects are here as well. Kevin James plays the overweight town Sergeant who Hubie annoys with his vigilant watch. Then there’s Steve Buscemi as Hubie’s new neighbor, with a dark secret.
Ray Liotta shows up as, basically himself, in a pretty unexpectedly funny role. Other amazing performers like Michael Chiklis, Tim Meadows, and Maya Rudolph also appear in pretty hilarious sequences. Young stars like Stranger Things’ Noah Schnapp and Paris Barely have their own great cute teen-love subplot. The movie also features some funny gags like how anytime there’s a tracking shot of Hubie biking or running, he gets a trio of random objects thrown at him by the townspeople, which he expertly dodges. The joke is in the type of objects that symbolize everyone’s hate of Hubie. Initially, it’s just eggs from kids, but then things quickly escalate to watermelons and cinder blocks. It’s shockingly funny.
Overall, Hubie Halloween is a decent watch for a very light-hearted comedy for the season. Audiences exasperated with Sandler’s usual over the top shenanigans can definitely give this a try since it’s honestly not as bad. And downright funny in a lot of ways.
Hubie Halloween is now streaming on Netflix.
So what did you think of Sandler’s latest comedy? Let me know in the comments below.
Featured image via Netflix.
Shah Shahid is an entertainment writer, movie critic (so he thinks), host of the Split Screen Podcast (on Apple Podcasts & everywhere else) and filmy father on a mission to educate his girls on decades of film history. Armed with uncontrollable sarcasm and cautious optimism, Shah loves discussing film, television and comic book content until his wife’s eyes glaze over. So save her by engaging him on his own blog at BlankPageBeatdown.com or on Twitter @theshahshahid.