Adam Sandler’s latest film, “Hubie Halloween,” follows Sandler’s character Hubie on a particularly eventful Halloween night in his hometown of Salem, Mass. Hubie, an overcautious, self-proclaimed Halloween safety volunteer, is unappreciated by his fellow citizens. Afraid of everything, Hubie spends his time dodging items people throw at him and dealing with pranks at his expense. This Halloween however, a host of ne’er-do-wells and mysterious missing persons lend Hubie’s typical paranoia some credibility and he sets off to save the day.
As expected, “Hubie Halloween” is a bad film. Sandler does one of his trademark ear-assaulting voices, immediately making his character extremely unpleasant to hear and see onscreen. Not only is his voice irritating, but the character seems to scream in fright almost every 30 seconds, making him even more annoying. It’s impossible to listen to this film at a reasonable volume without your ears bleeding. In fact, Sandler himself is the worst part of this film. It’s his movie, but every scene he’s in is made worse by his appearance.
It doesn’t help that the character of Hubie is intensely unlikeable. He spends his time complaining to the police about every little thing his neighbors do, to the point that they’ve started hanging up on him when he calls. At one point in the film he crashes a high school party just to take people’s drinks out of their hands and aggressively stops couples from making out. He criticizes everyone’s revealing costumes and ensures everyone knows he used to donate half his Halloween candy to the homeless shelter every year. He’s constantly in everyone’s business and refuses to leave them alone. There’s a reason he constantly has things thrown at him as he rides his bike through town. In a word, he’s uptight. In another word, he’s an a**hole.
Despite the unlikability of the film’s main character, its supporting cast is actually very talented. Filled with skilled actors like Steve Buscemi, Ray Liotta, Julie Bowen, Maya Rudolph, Tim Meadows, Ben Stiller, Kevin James, Rob Schneider, George Wallace and Shaquille O’Neal, everyone around Sandler actually delivers passable and appropriately silly performances. It’s Sandler himself who ruins the film.
Furthermore, the writing of the film is actually decent. The story is appropriately convoluted and funny, and most of the characters are humorous in their own right. The ending is one of the strengths of the film. “Hubie Halloween” isn’t a laugh-a-minute, but there are a few genuinely funny moments that might elicit a true laugh from audiences. Most of its jokes don’t land, but the ones that do are just enough to sustain the film until the end.
As an Adam Sandler movie about Halloween, this film doesn’t take itself too seriously. That’s a good thing. Unfortunately, the film isn’t quite silly or sincere enough to make it endearing. It also isn’t brazen enough in its absurdity to allow one to forget about its flaws.
Overall, “Hubie Halloween” is a bad movie, with Sandler himself being the worst part. It’s moderately funny and not altogether irredeemable. Just watch it on low volume. Sandler’s screams are the scariest thing about it.
Keagan Miller is a psychology senior and arts criticism writer for The Battalion.