‘Hubie Halloween’ fails to establish itself as an asset to the Halloween movie genre

Hannah Morgan


Released in the beginning of October, “Hubie Halloween” is the latest unnecessary Adam Sandler comedy (Image courtesy of Happy Madison and Netflix)

“Hubie Halloween,” the latest movie to come out of Adam Sandler’s production company Happy Madison, is an unnecessary addition to the Halloween movie genre. From beginning to end, “Hubie Halloween” relies on juvenile humor and cheap slapstick comedy in an attempt to create a cohesive movie. With a PG-13 rating, “Hubie Halloween’s” reliance on crude humor can fly over younger children’s heads. Alongside a weak screenplay and directing that has little complexity, this movie is best viewed by children with parental guidance, or older kids who can recognize where the film goes wrong.

“Hubie Halloween” follows Hubie Dubois (Adam Sandler) as he strives to keep the town of Salem, Mass. safe during the Halloween season—while spending the movie chasing after his childhood crush Violet Valentine (Julie Bowen). As a killer wanders around Salem kidnapping victims, it is up to Hubie to uncover the culprit, despite the frequent humiliation many in the town subject him to. 

Fortunately, Steve Buscemi shines as Walter Lambert and proves to be one of the best performances in the movie (Image Courtesy of Happy Madison and Netflix)

The movie does redeem itself through the few jokes that actually land, as well as some of the cast members delivering performances that feel genuinely sincere. One of the better aspects of “Hubie Halloween” is Steve Buscemi’s role as Walter Lambert, Hubie’s mysterious neighbor. Buscemi’s portrayal adds a truly comedic element because he is able to actually take his part seriously—something that is seriously lacking in several other actors’ performances. Buscemi, recognizable through his performances in many dramatic movies, including “Fargo” and “Reservoir Dogs,” is the sole reason this plotline works. With a lesser known actor, the role of Lambert would contribute nothing new to the movie. Similarly, “Stranger Things” star Noah Schnapp, who plays one of Violet Valentine’s children, is also able to bring a unique warmth to the film. However, the success of Schnapp’s role feels more connected to his status as an actor rather than the actual character that he plays. Both performances are easily among the best in “Hubie Halloween,” but it is impossible for them to salvage the weaker aspects of the film. 

Starring as romantic leads Hubie Dubois and Violet Valentine, Adam Sandler and Julie Bowen struggle to carry the film (Image Courtesy of Happy Madison and Netflix)

Alongside the weak humor, “Hubie Halloween’s” other drawback is the excessive number of cameos and subplots. The cast list includes Saturday Night Live alums and cast members (Maya Rudolph, Kenan Thompson, Mikey Day, Melissa Villaseñor) and Disney sitcom child stars (China Anne McClain, Peyton List, Karan Brar, Bradley Steven Perry). It feels overwhelming to anyone who knows many of them, and for those who don’t, most performances offer little to the film except for distraction from the main plot. It feels like various scenes are put in to fill out the objectively short movie—only 102 minutes. It is certainly a change of tone from Sandler’s previous movie “Uncut Gems,” which garnered Independent Spirit Award wins and was not made for the sake of cheap laughs. 

However, “Hubie Halloween” does promote the strong message of kindness. Hubie’s primary personality trait, being a “do-gooder,” is at the center of the movie. In addition, the movie continually focuses on the undeserved harassment Hubie faces from others. The film also shows the consequences they face and the lessons they learn—which truly communicates the message of treating others how you would like to be treated. For younger viewers especially, the presentation of this message through exaggerated incidents and simplistic dialogue means they are sure to understand it. For those who are fans of Sandler or appreciate his humor, “Hubie Halloween” might just be for you. Otherwise, it’s not worth your time.

Courtesy of Netflix