Movie Review: "Hubie Halloween"
Adam Sandler, Julie Bowen, Kevin James, and his regular group of collaborators [Rob Schneider, Steve Buscemi], are no strangers to countless comedy loving enthusiast. Many fans are fond of some of the characters Sandler has portrayed in the past; Bobby Boucher in The Waterboy, Longfellow Deeds in Mr. Deeds, and even his wacky take on Count Dracula in the animated film Hotel Transylvania. Each character he embodies has a goodhearted caring personality with an eccentric yet sometimes over-the-top voice that viewers tend to fall in love with. Hubie Dubois, Sandler’s latest kooky character in the Netflix original movie Hubie Halloween, had the potential to be another one of his crazy iconic characters, yet sadly falls short of its target.
The premise to the film revolves around Hubie, a goofy yet caring deli-counter worker, and his devotion to keeping the residents of his hometown safe on Halloween night. However, his hometown is the ever-mysterious Salem, Massachusetts that lives up to its legendary history with a possible werewolf and mental asylum patient escapee on the loose. Hubie, being a thoughtful neighbor, self-anoints himself the town monitor despite being mocked and ridiculed by not just the local children, but also many of the adults. Throughout the entire film Hubie is teased, chased, or threatened by the residents he has sworn to protect. However, Hubie’s strong sense of right and wrong is admirable and inspiring for many young viewers, and you can’t help but root for another one of Sandler’s underdog stories.
Like many of Sandler’s previous films, the plot was good-natured and had a wonderful message to young viewers and adults alike. The material was not complex and very understandable; however, the one thing that was hard to understand was the voice that Sandler decided to use for his character Hubie. Often at times it was extremely hard to understand his dialogue, causing his character to sound as if he had duct tape over his mouth that only allowed him to let out mumbles and gibberish. Inclusive, the cinematography and many of the special effects were well executed. Since most of the movie took place at nighttime, many of the scenes were shot were either on low light streets, dark cornfields, or spooky back roads. Yet every scene was surprisingly well lit and helped set the mood for the audience. The framing and camera angles were also impressive as Hubie would often run or ride his bicycle to flee from potential danger. The camera movement and composition were well considered for these actions and did a great job of enhancing the storytelling of the film.
Director Steven Brill did an amazing job with many of the artistic and technical choices he decided on for this film. Brill has had a long-time relationship with Sandler and many of the other members in his ragtag crew of the Happy Madison productions [Kevin James, Steve Buscemi, Rob Schneider, David Spade]. Brill has directed and produced several of Sandler’s more popular films and paid homage to many of them throughout Hubie Halloween. True fans of Sandler’s work will appreciate the assorted cameos, many hat tips, and connections to one of Sandler’s earlier works “Happy Gilmore”.
With all things considered, other than the exaggerated and somewhat inaudible voice performance by Sandler, the movie was not entirely bad. Like many comedies the primary functions are to delight and entertain the audience. Seeing how the film’s humor was geared towards teens and young adults, I believe that Hubie delivered. In general, the movie is a funny and amusing Adam Sandler Halloween movie that has some good laughs, a few jumps, and as per a Happy Madison production, does not take itself too seriously.