In a year full of horror, Netflix released Adam Sandler’s Hubie Halloween as October’s plague. Make no mistake, Hubie Halloween is awful. But is it the movie that Sandler threatened as revenge for his Oscar sub?
Until Sandler comes forward, the answer may remain a mystery. But Hubie Halloween holds plenty of evidence that it is the awful movie that Sandler promised the world if the Academy snubbed him. And snub him they did, so here we are.
What's in this review
What’s Hubie Halloween all about?
Let’s start with the basics. What is the plot of the movie?
Imagine the Water Boy’s mama tasked him with protecting everyone on Halloween night from the DEVIL. Now, imagine that instead of being somewhat intelligible and tough, Sandler muttered his lines as if he was trying to hold water in his mouth at the same time.
And instead of having some sense to start questioning his mother’s assessment of the DEVIL and growing throughout the movie, he pretty much stays the same dumb man-child. That’s Hubie Halloween in a nutshell.
Hubie is a terrified man-child, who made it his mission to save the town-folk of Salem from the threats of Halloween night. Everyone from teenaged coworkers to mean-for-no-reason grown men pick on him. They also chase him around town and throw random objects at him.
But this Halloween, there may be an actual threat to the town. An inmate at a local insane asylum escaped and may have gone to Salem. And a shady new neighbor moves in next door. And then shit gets real when people start disappearing.
If watching an even dumber version of the Water Boy try to solve a Halloween inspired mystery sounds like an awful idea, believe me it is. Oddly enough though, the movie has a twist at the end that ALMOST redeems the movie. Almost.
Lots of cameos little substance
If you are familiar at all with most Adam Sandler movies, you know that he pretty much always hangs with the same group of actors and actresses. It’s like the line from Big Daddy, “Your honor, Mr. <Sandler> is simply parading his buddies up there, can’t they find somebody who isn’t a friend?”
In this case, no, no he can’t. Though to be fair, he did include his daughters in the movie. Not sure that’s a real separation from the concept of using mostly friends, but it’s something I guess.
To name a few, Hubie Halloween features Sandler’s friends or former co-stars like:
- Rob Schneider
- Steve Buscemi
- Julie Bowen (Sandler’s girlfriend in Happy Gilmore)
- Kevin James
- Tim Meadows
- Ben Stiller
With some of the names, you’d think the movie would have kicked ass. Instead, the less than 2 hour movie felt like it took 4 hours.
So when you have that much talent wasted, you have to question, was it on purpose?
The jokes in Hubie Halloween just didn’t work
There is something funny about a seemingly clueless character wearing a shirt they picked up from a thrift store that reads “Boner Donor.”* Visuals like this are a common feature in comedies, and Sandler’s movies through the years have certainly used them.
But when they take an entire scene to discuss the joke, it loses its funniness. And even though Hubie’s mother wears different inappropriate shirts throughout the movie, it all falls flat.
Hubie himself is uncomfortable to watch most of the time. Laughing at the character seems to be akin to laughing at a person with an intellectual disability. In the entire movie, I can’t think of anything that struck me as actually funny that he did or said.
And that’s part of the movie’s problem. Probably the most memorable joke is the “Boner Donor” t-shirt his mother wears in her first scene. Everything else was basically crap.
Over the years, I have appreciated a fair share of Sandler films. Some I’ve watched repeatedly, which might tell you all you need to know about my taste in humor. But I’ve seen enough of them to know that some of his work is better than others.
But I can’t think of a single Sandler comedy, even ones I didn’t actually like, that didn’t have at least some good humor that got at least a laugh. “Boner Donor” got a smile and smirk but not a laugh. That’s further evidence that suggests Hubie Halloween is the awful movie that Sandler threatened he would make.
*Editor’s Note: Sorry for spoiling the best part of the movie.
Hubie’s love interest makes no sense
Julie Bowen reprises her role as the attractive love interest. You may remember her as the love interest in Happy Gilmore.
In Hubie Halloween, Bowen’s character was the most popular and the prettiest girl in their senior class their year. She dated and briefly married the football star, who turns out to be the police chief. And she has always had a crush on Hubie.
Here’s the problem. It is nearly impossible to suspend disbelief that this character could possible fall in love with the town’s loser and butt of all jokes. And if she loved him so much, why did she not use her “popularity” to help Hubie?
As crazy as some of Sandler’s characters are, most of the love interests make at least some sense…
Vicki Vallencourt, who loves the Bobby Boucher in The Waterboy, makes sense because she is basically unhinged herself.
Virginia Venit, who loves Happy Gilmore, makes sense because she comes to understand that Happy is actually a decent person who’s always looking out for his grandmother’s best interest
Layla Maloney, who loves Sonny Koufax in Big Daddy and slowly falls in love with him.
And so on.
In just about every other Sandler film, reasons exist to explain why the main love interest becomes the main love interest. In Hubie Halloween, that anyone could fall in love with the over-grown man child, is nearly impossible to believe.
Why this may not be the promised terrible movie
There are a lot of reasons to believe this is the flaming bag of shit that Sandler promised if he didn’t receive an Oscar for his work in Uncut Gems. But does the timing add up?
Sandler made the claim in late 2019 that he would make a terrible movie as revenge. Hubie Halloween finished filming in July of 2019. This would mean the script, actors, post production, and so on were already well established well before he would have known about his Oscar snub.
So what does that mean for Hubie Halloween? Is it possible that Sandler strongly suspected the snub and made the movie in advance so it would be released merely months after the snub? Something like premeditated revenge?
Or is something truly God-awful coming in the next few years? Something so terrible it will make Hubie Halloween seem like a masterpiece? I guess we’ll have to wait to find out.
Those daring enough to give Hubie Halloween a try can find it streaming on Netflix. Just don’t be shocked when the movie makes you wonder what happened to 4 hours of your life that you lost during its less than 2 hour run time.
Check out these other Halloween movie related articles
- Hocus Pocus vs Halloweentown
- Times Hocus Pocus makes you say what the hell?
- The Hocus Pocus Quiz
- Casper: Parent Review
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