Review: Hubie Halloween (2020)

Adam Sandler had a marvellous turn in Uncut Gems last year, turning his acting chops to a far more serious role. However, in an interview with Howard Stern, the actor said that if he did not win an Oscar for this standout role, he would come back and “do one again that is so bad on purpose just to make you all pay. That’s how I get them.”  That’s how the theory goes anyway – and that terrible film is supposedly this, Hubie Halloween.

In some ways, the film is terrible and juvenile, a return to the deep and awful past of Happy Madison Productions titles. But wading through the silly voice from Sandler, the ridiculous premise and convoluted story, there is something uniquely charming about the film, that makes you laugh and stick with it to the end.

Adam Sandler and Julie Bowen in Hubie Halloween
Adam Sandler and Julie Bowen in Hubie Halloween

I felt this same feeling last year with Murder Mystery, another Netflix affair for Sandler that followed the story of a “cop” and his wife going on a very belated honeymoon and ending up embroiled in a murder plot, and becoming the prime suspects to boot. It was a daft film with a silly premise, but thanks to a brilliant cast, Sandler made it work somehow – it’s quite a knack that he has.

Hubie Halloween

Hubie Halloween is a comedy horror film, released in the last few weeks on Netflix ready for the big scary day. It’s a family comedy and brings back together some of the favourites who have worked on the Happy Madison productions including Kevin James, Julie Bowen, Maya Rudolph, Steve Buscemi, Rob Schneider, Tim Meadows, Colin Quinn, Blake Clark and Shaquille O’Neal. 

Kevin James as Sgt. Steve Downey in Hubie Halloween
Kevin James as Sgt. Steve Downey in Hubie Halloween

It tells the story of Hubie Dubois (Sandler), a strange but very kind-hearted outcast of the local town who works in the delicatessen. He is the butt of many practical jokes but perseveres through it to try and look out for his town, particularly on Halloween. The day before Halloween, Hubie meets his strange new neighbour Walter Lambert (played by Steve Buscemi) and news spreads around town about Richie Hartman (Rob Schneider), a convict who has absconded from a local mental institution.

What follows is a series of set pieces where Hubie tries to protect people from the dangers of Halloween whilst also investigating the strange goings-on in town, all whilst particular adversairies of Hubie are disappearing into the night.

A scene reminiscent of E.T.
A scene reminiscent of E.T.

A very self-aware film

The film is packed with references to cinema, particularly horror films, which is perhaps where the most fun is to be had. Everything from The Warriors to Ghostbusters, from Happy Gilmore to The Twilight Zone, they all get a mention in here.

There are some excellent pieces in the film that do make you genuinely laugh out loud – Hubie’s mum (June Squibb) is hilarious and play’s the part to a tee. Always looking out for what slogan she is wearing on her t-shirt throughout the film – including ‘Boner Doner’ and ‘I Shaved My Balls for This?’ – is a hilarious treat.

Shaquille O'Neal in Hubie Halloween
Is that Shaquille O’Neal?

And a scene involving Shaquille O’Neal and his wife, revealing very different voices than expected, was genuinely funny, if not disturbing in a weird way.

There is also a gorgeous aesthetic to the film that has to be mentioned. A pumpkin spiced colour palette glows across suburban America in this movie, that offers a strange cross between Springfield and Scooby-Doo. the film crosses this peculiar line between a mainstream American sitcom doing a Halloween Special and the big-budget feel of Netflix productions. Julie Bowen’s appearance probably punctuates this as Hubie’s love interest. She is famous for her role in Modern Family, that did quite a few Halloween specials over the years.

Where are you heading?
Where are you heading?

In Conclusion

The film is a self-aware fusion of what Adam Sandler does – mildly offensive jokes, the juvenile celebration of cheap scares, slapstick prat-falls and bodily function gags. What more can you expect from the man? Despite this, Hubie Halloween is not the worst thing Adam Sandler has ever done, like some critics are saying. It’s a light, sweet and nostalgic comedy that is pleasantly devoid of high stakes. It’s not going to win any awards, but somehow, like the Murder Mystery film, it’s a nice easy watch.

You can read more of our reviews here.

Please join us on social media on FacebookInstagramTik Tok and Twitter. We really appreciate all the likes, shares, retweets etc., and we would love to hear from you and continue the wonderful celebration of all things cinema on these platforms.

If you love to watch videos on YouTube, then please subscribe to our channel here. There’s lots of fun and informative videos uploaded that we hope you will enjoy!

We have a passion for movies and aim to produce entertaining and informative movie-related content. It certainly is a lot of hard work, but we love films so much that it’s worth all the effort. We have to keep the lights on and make sure we have plenty of caffeine to keep all of the articles, videos and social media posts coming, so if you like our work, then please consider supporting us at Buy Me A Coffee here.

To help support us here at More Movies, we do use advertising in a few places, so we appreciate it if you do not use AdBlockers on our site, as this helps keep a few pennies trickling in. We also utilise affiliate links throughout the site, usually to help guide our readers to places to stream, rent or buy the movies we talk about. One of the biggest sources for movies online is Amazon Prime Video, where you can stream over 18,000 films. If you are interested in Prime and haven’t signed up yet, you can get a 30-day free trial via this affiliate link, which helps support us too.

David Roberts
Dave is a digital content creator, web and software developer and keen filmmaker. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram @drobertsdigital.