Hubert Dubois is Salem’s official volunteer Halloween helper. Easily startled and frequently frightened, Hubie devotes himself to keeping the holiday safe for everyone, young and old, for which he is openly and mercilessly mocked by all.
This Halloween, armed only with good intentions and his trusty swiss army thermos, Hubie (Adam Sandler) has an extra hefty burden. He’s being bullied by some local high school kids, he suspects his neighbour Walter (Steve Buscemi) is a werewolf, and a psychotic prisoner in a pig costume is on the loose, escaped from a nearby institution. Exasperated with Hubie’s numerous reports, Sgt. Steve (Kevin James) shuts down his concerns, leaving him with only his elderly mother (June Squibb) in a series of suggestive tshirts and his childhood crush, soup-serving Violet (Julie Bowen) as allies.
As with every Adam Sandler movie, many of his friends and a great many of his family join him on set as they film on location in a very quaint-looking Salem, Massachusetts, even if the town’s lengthy history of “bullies” persists. Hubie Halloween reunites Sandler with his Happy Gilmore costar Julie Bowen 24 years after she first played his love interest, Virginia Venit (this time playing Violet Valentine, we see that Sandler’s love of alliteration and the letter V have also withstood the test of time). Also joining them from the cast of Happy Gilmore, Ben Stiller in a cameo playing the exact same character, orderly Hal.
Although Sandler’s movies for Netflix have been more miss than hit, this one is a pleasant exception. It’s just scary enough to qualify as Halloween viewing, but Sandler’s brand of low-brow humour ensures that all but the little ones will be able to watch. Does it reinvent the wheel? Not remotely; it’s merely better inflated than the flat tires his production company has been turning out for some time.
The thrills are mild, the jokes are corny, but it’s a harmless movie that might add some Halloween spirit to your household, and considering many will be refraining from trick-or-treating this year, a movie night is a nice way to celebrate in a safe and socially-distanced way. I think Hubie would approve.
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