Director: Steve Brill
Writers: Tim Herlihy and Adam Sandler
Starring: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Steve Buscemi
Despite his devotion to both his hometown of Salem and its annual Halloween celebration, Hubie Dubois (Sandler) is a figure of mockery amongst the local residents of all ages. However, this year something is genuinely going bump in the night during the town’s Halloween celebration, and now its up to Hubie to investigate.
I am quite confident that most people share my feelings towards Adam Sandler’s films in that I look forward to getting food poisoning more than I look forward to his latest insult to cinema – at least with food poisoning you lose some weight! Well, as much as I try to watch every film with an open mind, this is something that is of extreme difficulty when watching an Adam Sandler film, as his demonstration of extreme hubris and seeming contempt for film fans often provides an infuriating viewing experience that leaves a vile taste in the mouth. Hubie Halloween demonstrates the usual sickening elements of most Adam Sandler films in that he demonstrates his usual nepotism of casting his talentless relatives and his even more talentless mates – when a film reminds you that the likes of Rob Schneider and Kevin James can still get acting roles (which they are probably paid well for) it is surely impossible not to hate it for that reason alone!
Now, when a refer to ‘Adam Sandler films’ I am of course referring to films that are Happy Madison productions, as I still very much stand by the fact that he should have won the Oscar for his performance in Uncut Gems. There are actually a lot of theories around arguing that he made Hubie Halloween bad on purpose as some kind of response to his snubbing at the Oscars. While its mere existence can easily provoke feelings of extreme hatred, but if these are put to one side (which is extremely difficult) then Hubie Halloween is not actually the very worst of Adam Sandler’s films and it is never especially funny, never especially scary, never especially, well, anything! It is a just about watchable and quite inoffensive 102 minutes of nothing.
Though it feels like it was written by a committee and has very much lowest common denominator humour that often doesn’t really fit with its 12A rating, Hubie Halloween does have some good points in that it actually has some kind of overall plot (albeit one filled with holes), does not star David Spade, has some mildly likeable supporting characters, does not star David Spade, has some (very) slightly amusing moments curtesy of some of the supporting cast and DOES NOT STAR DAVID SPADE.
Halloween does seem to be very much a big deal in America, and Hubie Halloween does capture this very well with the setting proving effectively atmospheric. Adam Sandler’s protagonist is the usual goofy and naive type of character he often likes to give us, and Sandler also puts on a silly voice in what I can only assume to be an attempt to make him endearing, but it just really irritating and Sandler’s overacting is another reminder why his very difficult to like. Sandler is of course the boss on this film and so can do what he wants, but the clichéd messages within the narrative and the cheap, lazy gags would be far more forgivable if they did not include Sandler’s shameless and self-indulgent overacting!
Hubie Halloween is of course utter rubbish, and was always going to be, but the most profound question with this film (as with most Adam Sandler films) is how rubbish it is. Setting aside the hateful reasons associated with its mere existence and nepotistic casting, within the context of the painfully low standards set by Adam Sandler, Hubie Halloween is actually just about tolerable and watchable – but it still utter rubbish and I could certainly never bring myself to recommend it to anyone.
Adam Sandler’s latest may not be quite his most hateful and contemptable film of recent times, and it would have probably been okay if his leading performance wasn’t so irritatingly over the top, but there is no getting away from the fact that Hubie Halloween is still utter rubbish and best avoided and unless you have basically completed Netflix at least three times.
At time of writing Hubie Halloween is available to stream on Netflix.