Hubie’s not the most popular guy in Salem, Mass., but when Halloween turns truly spooky, this good-hearted scaredy-cat sets out to keep his town safe.
Runtime: 1hr 43m
Director: Steve Brill
Starring: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Julie Bowen, Ray Liotta, Steve Buscemi, Maya Rudolph, Rob Schneider, June Squibb, Kenan Thompson, Tim Meadows, Michael Chiklis, Karan Brar, George Wallace, Paris Berelc, Noah Schnapp, China Anne McClain, Colin Quinn, Kym Whitley, Lavell Crawford, Mikey Day, Jackie Sandler, Sadie Sandler, Sunny Sandler
Information Page: https://www.newonnetflix.info/info/80245104
Despite his devotion to his hometown of Salem (and its Halloween celebration), Hubie Dubois is a figure of mockery for kids and adults alike. But this year, something is going bump in the night, and it’s up to Hubie to save Halloween.
I was looking for a Halloween film to watch with my children, so I asked them to choose one and they chose “Hubie Halloween”. I’ll be honest I’m not the biggest Adam Sandler fan and, as such, I probably wouldn’t have chosen to watch this film. Next time I will add additional criteria…
“Hubie Halloween” is a very silly film, but it does have an identity issue: it is too mature for kids but also too stupid for adults. In fact it’s not even silly enough to be a late night comedy. Having said that “Hubie Halloween” does have quite a nice underlying story to it that explores bullying, about accepting others and not being mean to them due to insecurities about yourself.
Hubie Halloween tells the story of the dorky deli counter worker Hubie Dubois, who is Salem’s self-appointed Halloween safety monitor (even though he scares really easily), he turns up, for example, at a school cafeteria to present a lecture on Halloween safety. However, this makes him the target of the town’s bullies although at times he does seem oblivious to the ridicule. The residents of Salem don’t even take Hubie seriously when townsfolk start vanishing on Halloween, right after news breaks that a dangerous mental patient has broken out of a nearby asylum. The only people who give Hubie the time of day are his secret longtime crush, Violet Valentine (Julie Bowen), a good-hearted and beautiful divorcée fond of adopting orphans; his soft-spoken, new next-door neighbour, Walter Lambert (Steve Buscemi), who gives off every indication that he might be a werewolf; and his mom (June Squibb), who keeps having to remind Hubie to fight back against the bullies that continue to torment him.
The one big issue I have with the film is that, once again, Sandler uses a stupid voice and facial movements for his character, and he uses those things to show that his character has a mental illness or disability. I honestly don’t know how in 2020 this is still an acceptable comedy trope. At times when Hubie is being bullied for having this disability the storyline seems to make it seem like it’s an okay thing to do; for example one of the characters who bullies Hubie is a teacher at the local high school and when all the kids and adults are making fun of Hubie a student questions the teacher saying she doesn’t feel this is right, the teacher’s response is basically “it’s fine because it’s just Hubie and he isn’t the same”.
“Hubie Halloween” isn’t the worst film I’ve watched this year but it certainly won’t win any Oscars; the writing isn’t great, the twists and turns don’t really make that much sense, and the acting isn’t great either – even though it has a star-studded cast. But if you’re just looking for something utterly silly to watch with the kids as they are on their come down from a sweet-ladened sugar-high, I’d recommend giving “Hubie Halloween” a watch – just don’t expect too much from it.
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