Warning: spoilers for Hubie Halloween are in play! If you haven’t seen the film, we’re going to lightly discuss what happens in the story. So turn back if you’re frightened that you’ll learn too much about this not-so chilling tale.
Here we are: staring down the release of another Adam Sandler movie on Netflix, as Hubie Halloween is officially released into the wild. A lot of people seem to think that this might be the bad movie that Sandler had promised the world after striking out with the Academy over Uncut Gems, but the truth is, it isn’t. Despite the 5.4 rating on IMDb and the 53% this film holds on Rotten Tomatoes, there’s quite a bit about Hubie Halloween that still really works, despite what you’ve heard from the critics. This isn’t to say that we’re looking at another deep and complex character as Howie Ratner here, but Hubie Halloween isn’t totally what you’d expect from an Adam Sandler movie. For seven reasons in particular, you might want to give this Halloween offering a proper shot.
There Are Some Legitimately Funny Jokes In Hubie Halloween
While there are plenty of gags where Adam Sandler is sticking to the playbook, all full of gross-out humor and juvenile antics, there are still some funny moments in Hubie Halloween that manage to get a good chuckle. A running gag involving just how many Harley Quinns there are on the streets of Salem is a good starter, and there are a lot of references to Sandler classics like Billy Madison that feel like warm callbacks rather than obligatory punchlines. A much bigger surprise is the fact that classic films like Jaws, American Graffiti and even The Elephant Man are all referenced throughout Hubie Halloween, and in clever ways that aren’t just mentioning those film’s titles.
The Tone Of Humor Is Less Abrasive Than Most Sandler Films
An interesting reversal that takes place in Hubie Halloween is the fact that Adam Sandler is playing the sort of character that you’d see his younger self making fun of in his more classic comedies. A fair amount of the jokes do revolve around the standard trope of the whole town picking on Hubie as Salem’s biggest loser, but compared to something like Happy Gilmore, the gags aren’t as hard on the mean spirited angle. There are actually people who are either indifferent to, or even like Hubie, which offers an avenue of comedy that isn’t as harsh to his character.
The Pacing Of Hubie Halloween Keeps Audiences Invested
It’s not a guarantee that even the new-ish formula of gags in Hubie Halloween will work for even the most casual viewer. Humor’s kind of funny like that with people, but even this gathering of schtick isn’t your thing, there’s good news: it’s a short movie. Clocking in at 102 minutes, Hubie Halloween actually flies through its assortment of humor at a rapid pace. Should one joke not land, there will be several more to follow it in an attempt to make you crack a smile; though there’s still time for each gag to breath for the audience to enjoy. Horrific pacing can kill a movie, and if you’re still haunted by the memories of the interminable house of pain that was Sandy Wexler, this movie is not only almost half an hour shorter, but it acts like it.
Adam Sandler’s Habit Of Casting His Friends Really Works For This Movie
The Adam Sandler movie machine is known for two specific factors that keep it moving: sometimes there’s a great vacation to be had, and Sandler has an assortment of actors he always likes to work with, which makes casting super easy. Neither of those factors guarantee a good film, but you can always count on something like Hubie Halloween to reflect how much fun everyone’s having on set. For this story, that’s exactly the sort of thing that works in favor of what is trying to be achieved. The Salem of Hubie Halloween feels like an actual community of people who are familiar with one another, and everyone from repertory players like Kevin James, Tim Meadows and Maya Rudolph, to newcomers such as Ray Liotta and Michael Chiklis, really sells it. Adam Sandler movies are hangout movies, and in a small town atmosphere like this one, that’s a positive factor.
Reteaming Adam Sandler And Julie Bowen Was A Genius Move
As an actor, when given the silly sort of material that you’d find in a movie like Hubie Halloween, you can either do one of two things: phone it in, or lean into the silliness and have a good time. Everyone in this particular instance has fun with the crazy things that happen, and it really makes the entire experience easy on the viewer. But if there’s an MVP trophy to be given to anyone in Hubie Halloween, it’s returning Happy Madison collaborator/Modern Family star Julie Bowen. Playing Violet Valentine, Hubie’s crush from high school, Bowen is functionally the love interest for this particular Sandlerverse movie, and she’s having a blast. The comedic chemistry between her and Adam Sandler shows that the Happy Gilmore pair haven’t lost a step, and we should all hope that Sandler doesn’t wait another 20+ years to rope Julie Bowen into his work for the next crazy adventure.
The Actual Message Of Hubie Halloween Is Something You Wouldn’t Expect
Throwing it back to the standard Adam Sandler playbook, you see a lot of the stories that focus on a childish man growing up a little and sticking it to the status quo. The bully always gets humiliated in the end, everyone laughs and the good guys supposedly have won. With Hubie Halloween, there’s a crucial difference that sees Hubie, confronted with a chance to settle the score himself, decide to be the better person. In an “Old Man Sandler” sort of way, we see the comedic half of the actor's resume grow up a little more than usual, through the lens of a man who we wouldn’t fault for humiliating his tormentors. Hubie even inspires some characters to do better in life, rather than mischief, and it’s a real sign of growth.
Hubie Halloween Is A Harmless Halloween Movie For The Whole Family
It’s Halloween time, in case you haven’t noticed; and with any holiday comes timeless staples like It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, The Nightmare Before Christmas and Hocus Pocus that are trotted out to help bring the family together. That’s exactly the sort of movie that Hubie Halloween sets out to be, and it sticks the landing. Old school Adam Sandler fans can kick back and laugh at the cameos, the call backs and the pratfalls, and have that good time that usually evades critics. But a younger audience also gets to be in on the fun, as Hubie Halloween isn’t too spooky or raunchy to see with your children.
You might be sitting in front of your screen, shaking your head and thinking that this is some weird prank that’s being pulled on you, the reader. But this isn’t a trick. Hubie Halloween isn’t a perfect movie, nor is it a gut-busting 'laugh a minute' underdog. What it happens to be is a fun movie that allows everyone to enjoy some time together, laughing and celebrating the Halloween season. Somewhere in between beagles in pumpkin patches and torture demons ripping flesh off of their victims lies this film; an easy and light ride that reminds you of why this is a fun holiday to begin with. You can see for yourself, as Hubie Halloween is currently on Netflix for all to enjoy. If you keep an open mind and stick with it to the end, you just might find something to enjoy.
CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.
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