Adam Sandler’s “Hubie Halloween” is a not-to-be-taken-serious, spooky flick 

The holiday favorite may be a treat for some and a trick for others


Netflix official poster

Sean Dunham, Contributor

*This story may contain spoilers.*

We all know the month of October as one filled with scary movies and terrifying costumes leading up to the madness that occurs on Halloween night each year. While Halloween is a time that many eagerly wait for every year, not everyone understands the thrill behind the fear-driven holiday. Lucky for those in fear of eerie, ghostly spirits this treat is just for you. 

“Hubie Halloween,” starring the infamous Adam Sandler, has reached No. 2 on the Top 10 in the U.S. on Netflix. The comedic actor embodies Hubie DuBois, a shy, awkward individual, who’s been the laughing stock of his hometown for his entire life. When Halloween comes around each year, Hubie is ready for all the fun holiday festivities. However, his neighbors constantly target him with their foolish pranks.  From name-calling, having eggs, balls and ridiculously heavy objects thrown at him and being startled with creepy masks, Hubie fulfills the role of an underdog with the hopes of turning it all around one day. 

Set in Salem, Massachusetts, considered the “unofficial Halloween capital of America,” Hubie voluntarily serves as the town’s ‘Halloween monitor’ with the intention of stopping any danger from ruining Salem’s celebratory events, but many see his ‘occupation’ as unnecessary. Yet the move-in of a new neighbor, Walter Lambert, a werewolf trying to hide in his own shadow, and the escape of psychiatric hospital patient Richie Hartman, just adds to the chaotic energy in Salem. 

As Halloween night begins, the buzzkill-instinctive Hubie attempts to bust a high school party filled with teenagers trying to have fun. Tricked into entering a corn maze, Hubie walks tenderly through the field only to hear the screams of Mike, the bully that sent him in who eventually disappears into the dark. Later on, after scaring the harmless Hubie at a drive-in movie, his former high school classmates Lester and Mary Hennessey are kidnapped by the same mysterious figure, raising suspicion and nerves of people in town. Following another kidnapping of Pete Landolfa, a former bully of Hubie’s, a concerned group places the blame upon Hubie as all the kidnappings have been connected to his past.  

Hubie races to the WTCH radio station, where the host traces the most recent caller’s phone back to Hubie’s house. There he finds his mother about to burn the four kidnapees alive after witnessing their cruel treatment of her son for his entire life. Hubie ultimately saves the victims, earning the respect of the entire town, marrying his forever-crush, Violet and becoming mayor of beloved Salem.

The Happy Madison produced film features a well-rounded, all-star cast that almost anyone can recognize, including Kevin James (Sgt. Downey), Julie Bowen (Violet Valentine), Ray Liotta (Pete Landolfa), Rob Schneider (Richie Hartman), Steve Buscemi (Walter Lambert) and Shaquille O’Neal (a radio host with a feminine voice, ironically). Other breakthrough Hollywood stars make appearances in the movie such as Noah Schnapp from “Stranger Things” and Kenan Thompson from “Saturday Night Live.” Younger viewers will recognize stars who play smaller roles in the film such as China Anne McClain, Karan Brar, Peyton List and Paris Berelc, all of who have starred on Disney Channel.

Interestingly enough, Sandler bantered with the possibility of creating a film  “so bad on purpose”  if he didn’t win an Oscar for his brilliant role in “Uncut Gems.” Since he didn’t win, we can understand why Sandler introduced the reckless story of Hubie, as the actor responds to his viewers in an unusual manner. The Netflix original provides lots of laughs and demonstrates a feel-good story in which a lonesome character rises to his long-awaited glory. The directors utilize 90 minutes to carefully develop Hubie’s character as he takes on a leadership role with the town fully behind him in hoping to solve the mystery.

However, the plot line creates some sizable gaps that do not make much sense when analyzing the morals of the movie. Throughout the film, Sandler repeats his antics numerous times, which lessens the amusing aspect of his traditional acting style. Additionally, it is noticeable that the directors/writers did not put as much effort into some of the characters’ joke-delivering dialogues; their humor’s reasonings are directly explained through conversation, which underwhelms the pleasantness of the artistry. The beginning of the film is exceptionally hilarious; Hubie’s mother wears thrifted shirts with inappropriate sayings which she doesn’t understand and Hubie’s mumbling voice-cracking immature yet smirk-worthy jokes, which I found quite amusing.

Despite this, the movie asserts more of a mystery-genre towards the end with brief scenes of jump scares and intense moments. The movie isn’t considered a masterpiece by any means, but in my opinion, it was worth the hour and a half of my time.“Hubie Halloween” is definitely not Sandler’s best work or a typical scary movie, but the whimsical film will make audiences smile and remind them of the fun spirits during the Halloween season. 

“Hubie Halloween” is now streaming on Netflix.

Email Sean at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @seanpdunham

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