Fresh off his career-best performance in 2019 ‘Uncut Gems,’ Adam Sandler (‘Murder Mystery’, ‘The Week Of’) gives Netflix his first Halloween themed film which is pretty surprising given his 25 year career in film. What was also surprising was how much fun I had with this film!
Sandler has been one my favorite actors since I was little and ‘Hubie’ brought me back to his zany characters that I worshipped as a kid. Like some of those 90’s gems, ‘Hubie’s’ story desires more but had plenty of heart to go around.
Sandler stars as Hubie Dubois, a kind-hearted deli-worker who is and always has been the joke of his hometown of Salem, Massachusetts. He believes he must protect the townsfolk on Halloween as the self-titled ‘Halloween Helper’ which makes it hard for anyone to take him seriously.
Shortly after Hubie’s mysterious neighbor Walter, Steve Buscemi (‘The King of Staten Island’, ‘The Dead Don’t Die’) moves in next door, things start to get scarier in Salem involving townsfolk disappearing, and it’s up to Hubie to become the hero Salem needs.
People will make fun of this film since Sandler was quoted as saying, and I am paraphrasing, if the Academy doesn’t nominate him for ‘Uncut Gems,’ he will make an extremely bad movie. Again, in no way am I saying this is a good movie, but I think this isn’t a bad one either.
Director and frequent Sandler collaborator Steven Brill (‘100% Fresh’, ‘The Do-Over’) does a good job creating a creepy atmosphere for ‘Hubie’ but it feels like something else was missing. I believe he could have added something more horror related, but again this was destined to be a family-centric horror film.
I begin to wonder what if this was an R-Rated horror story with Hubie at the center? I know Sandler has the ability to do horror because he is a great actor, and I wouldn’t mind seeing him with Sam Raimi or Guillermo Del Toro. If he could do what Chris Rock is doing with the Saw series, Sandler can easily have his own horror film before he calls it a career.
Tagging along are other Sandler regulars like Buscemi, Shaquille O’Neal, Time Meadows, Maya Rudolph, Michael Chiklis, Julie Bowen, and Kevin James, who all get their funny moments alongside the newer additions like Ray Liotta and June Squibb. Squibb (‘Nebraska’, ‘Palm Springs’) does a very good job and looks like she is having a blast as Hubie’s Mother who loves her son dearly but holds a dark secret.
There is one very fun cameo that I absolutely refuse to spoil. I will say that anyone who’s a fan of 90’s Sandler will be pleasantly surprised, and it will make you long for the good ol days.
7th October 2020
THE QUICK SELL
Despite his devotion to his hometown of Salem (and its Halloween celebration), Hubie Dubois is a figure of mockery for kids and adults alike.