Our Take: 3.5 Stars
Adam Sandler is back just in time for Halloween with his new movie “Hubie Halloween.” With a mysterious kidnapper on the loose, Hubie Dubois (Adam Sandler, “Happy Gilmore”) must find the culprit before the entire town falls victim to their schemes. The film is set in a quaint New England town with a less-than-quaint past — Salem, Massachusetts.
Hubie Dubois is a standard variation of the classic Adam Sandler persona. A kindhearted scaredy-cat who lives with his mother (June Squibb, “Nebraska”), Hubie spends the movie pining after Violet Valentine (Julie Bowen, “Modern Family”), his long-time crush.
To top it off, Hubie’s naiveté and ridiculous accent are typical of any Sandler character.
Hubie’s eccentric and busybody nature, makes him the target of countless practical jokes by the citizens of Salem, despite his good intentions.
This teasing only adds to his innocence and immediately sets him up as the underdog in the story.
Hubie is an easy target for bullies due to his gullibility, yet maintains his desire to help others regardless.
So much so, that Hubie anoints himself the “Official Halloween Helper” of Salem to ensure children stay safe during the holiday.
However, his plans to curb the holiday chaos are met with fierce resistance as constant torment from the townspeople, the escape of a mental patient (Rob Schneider, “Rob”) from a nearby asylum and the arrival of a new neighbor (Steve Buscemi, “The King of Staten Island”) who acts suspiciously like a werewolf are thrown into the mix.
Armed only with his multi-tool thermos, Hubie is led on a goosechase across town in an attempt to solve the mystery behind the disappearing people.
Meanwhile, the rest of the town is absorbed in the spirit of Halloween, making the situation all the more dire.
However, the mystery is intertwined with Sandler’s usual blatant humor to ease viewers away from the looming threat in town.
Hubie’s love of Halloween, paired with his incurable fear of the smallest frights, result in an abundance of screaming from Hubie’s character that adds little to the comedy but solidifies his role as an easily-scared manchild.
The jokes are juvenile and comically bad, but that is to be expected when it comes to an Adam Sandler film.
Sandler brings together his usual cast in this Halloween comedy. Kevin James (“The King of Queens”), Kenan Thompson (“Trolls World Tour”), Maya Rudolph (“Forever”) and many routine Sandler collaborators return for another film.
A new face in the Sandler-universe, Shaquille O’Neal, makes a special appearance as DJ Aurora.
While the tricks are never-ending, the movie ends with a treat as the townspeople look inwards.
The townspeople end up realizing that their pranks on Hubie were stemming from their own personal anguish.
The feel-good ending is predictable but welcome as Hubie saves the town, earns the respect of its citizens and of course gets the girl.
“Hubie Halloween” may not be a masterpiece but it is certainly a fun and festive watch.