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COLUMN: ‘Hubie Halloween’ makes my head spin



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Adam Sandler stars as Hubie Dubois in "Hubie Halloween." Movie Stills Database

I’m sure I wasn’t the only one wondering what Adam Sandler would do after last year’s “Uncut Gems.” Following his highly acclaimed performance in one of the best reviewed films of the year would not be an easy task. Would he do another drama, or go back to his signature comedies?

Then I heard about “Hubie Halloween." I was elated. 

As a stupid person myself, I really love comedies that are as dumb as I am. As such, Sandler’s stuff is perfect for me. I even enjoyed last year’s “Murder Mystery.” So I was excited for this one. 

“Hubie Halloween” is about a man named Hubie, played by Sandler, who absolutely loves Halloween. The only problem is, he scares easily. And everyone in the town makes fun of him because he’s a typical Sandler man-child. Anyways, someone starts kidnapping a bunch of people and Sandler has to solve the case. 

I like to think I’ve seen my fair share of movies. I’ve seen good ones, I’ve seen bad ones and I’ve seen mediocre ones. Even in cases where I’m not sure if I liked a movie or not, I’m generally able to form some sort of opinion. 

I genuinely don’t know what I’m supposed to think about “Hubie Halloween.” It’s a film that exists on some other plane of existence — one that has no concept of the words “good” or “bad.”

Part of me feels like I should say “Hubie Halloween” is awful. There are so many parts of it that are just objectively terrible. 

The film looks like absolute garbage. For some reason, scenes are never lit properly. Sometimes people will be lit differently in the same shot. There are also some moments where the frame rate looks like it has been increased significantly. It actually made my head hurt seeing the way things moved. 

The performances kind of work. Pretty much everyone in the movie is doing their own shtick. Sandler is doing what Sandler always does. He has a weird voice that’s not really funny after the first five minutes. All of his regulars are around, most notably Kevin James and Rob Schneider. They’re fine. One great addition is Steve Buscemi, who is maybe the funniest part of the movie. 

However, that brings me to a pretty big issue, which is how the movie just isn’t very funny. Yeah, there are some decent moments, but I can’t remember any jokes that stuck with me. It was just kind of dull. Most of the gags don’t really work, and there are a couple of really bad moments. 

But even with all of that, I don’t know if I can say “Hubie Halloween” was bad. I don’t know if I can really criticize something that seemingly doesn’t care about its own quality. 

The entire time I was watching it, I couldn’t help but wonder if the real joke was being played on us, the audience. Last year on “The Howard Stern Show,” Sandler threatened to make a bad movie if he didn’t win an Oscar for “Uncut Gems.” I couldn’t shake the feeling that I may have been watching that movie. 

So, do I recommend “Hubie Halloween”? Well, I don’t know. I didn’t personally enjoy it, but I’m sure there’s some appeal in there somewhere. But if you’re looking for your Adam Sandler fix, there are many other options. Even just on Netflix, there are plenty of choices that aren’t “Hubie Halloween.” 

But who knows? Maybe watching Adam Sandler use a thermos as a grappling hook is exactly what America needs right now. 

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