Adam Sandler is back in a movie that is very Adam Sandler. Hubie Halloween isn’t Uncut Gems — rather, it’s the type of comedy where Sandler plays a giant man-child named Hubie who lives with his mother, wets his bed, and awkwardly crushes on the chick in town who scored all the best yearbook superlatives back when they were in high school together.
Hubie loves Halloween. It’s why he decks out his front yard in skeletons and pumpkins and gives a talk to the kids at school about how to stay safe while having fun via the acronym GHOST. (They start throwing their lunches at him before we get past the G, which stands for “give” to the less fortunate.) But after people start to disappear from Hubie’s hometown of Salem, he takes it upon himself to convince the police that there is a monster causing havoc.
Netflix’s Hubie Halloween is a movie that knows it’s bad and doesn’t care. And while this type of confidence is to be admired… I guess… let’s just say I had many thoughts on it. Many, many thoughts. Here are a few of them.
1. If I hear another pee joke, I’m going to die.
Hubie Halloween has the type of humor that a middle school boy would come up with, only this middle school boy is Adam Sandler. When a joke about Hubie’s ghost costume (a sheet with pee stains on it) isn’t happening, a joke about the word “boner” is. My gosh — there are so many jokes about boners.
Hubie’s mother buys a shirt that has “Boner Donor” printed on it and tells her son that “boner” is just another word for mistake. So naturally, Hubie tells half the town that he’s made a huge “boner,” causing everyone to snicker and giggle. How great.
2. Wait, does this movie have a plot?
Kind of. I guess. But over halfway through, I started to question whether I was doing a terrible job of paying attention or the movie was doing a terrible job of progressing the narrative.
It mostly feels like a bunch of random Halloween happenings playing out on the same night. Hubie gets lost in a corn maze, suspects his neighbor is a werewolf, and runs away from people dressed up as monsters. Was I supposed to be laughing at Hubie? Was I supposed to be cheering for him? I still don’t know.
3. I’ve definitely seen this actor before, but where?
What’s scarier than the amount of out-of-place actors in this film is the fact that I couldn’t figure out where I knew them from. Sure, I knew it was Ben Stiller in his blink-and-you’ll-miss-it opening scene. I recognized Kevin James as the lead cop and Kenan Thompson as his partner. And it was impossible to miss Maya Rudolph as well as current SNL cast members like Melissa Villaseñor and Mikey Day. But where are all these teens from? Why do they look so familiar?
As it turns out, the younger actors are mostly now-grown-up Disney stars like China Anne McClain (A.N.T. Farm), Peyton List (Jessie), Paris Berelc (Mighty Med), Karan Brar (Jessie), and Bradley Steven Perry (Good Luck Charlie). There’s also Noah Schnapp, who plays Will in Stranger Things, which completely went over my head until I read the credits. (Sorry, Noah).
4. Why are all these women dating down this much?
None of the women end up with good men — none of them.
Rudolph’s Mrs. Herlihy is constantly dealing with her husband (Tim Meadows), who thinks that random, weird gestures will turn her on. Berelc’s Jenna falls for a freshman who, while nice enough, is several years younger than her and doesn’t have a lot going for him. (Their age gap is obvious).
Finally, there’s Violet (Julie Bowen), who likes Hubie because he’s nice, totally ignoring the fact that his immaturity level is off the charts. She does try to kiss him through a TV screen, however — in front of her kids — so maybe they’re perfect for one another after all.
5. Are the wigs terrible on purpose?
Hubie makes a joke about how bad Meadows’ wig is. But it’s not the only wig that’s bad, and there are no references to how bad all the others are. This concerned me greatly.
Kevin James’s mullet doesn’t match his beard, and Rob Schneider’s shaggy blonde hair looks like the type you’d buy at a Halloween store. The problem? He’s not dressed up in a costume. It’s supposed to look wrong, right?
6. They shared food! They’re going to get coronavirus!
In the briefest of scenes, Officer Downing (James) takes an apple out of the mayor’s (George Wallace) mouth at a fall festival. He takes a huge bite out of it. I cringed, and my brain lit up in fear as I considered how many germs they just shared. Swapping saliva like that is okay? What?
Then it hit me that this was not filmed in 2020. Hubie Halloween was filmed in the blissfully ignorant summer of 2019. Ah, what a time to be alive.
Hubie Halloween is now streaming on Netflix.