If you’re a child of the 1990’s comedy movie scene, you no doubt know about Adam Sandler. If you haven’t seen The Water Boy (1998), you’re missing out. In fact, if you were to watch only one of his films, The Water Boy is the one. It encapsulates all that you need to know about Adam Sandler flicks.
Enter Hubie Halloween.
Hubie Halloween Video Review
This movie basically sucks. But we knew that already, right? If you go in to this film thinking your mind and spirit will be changed forever, boy did you waste your time. Unless you’ve never seen a puke or sex joke before.
Everybody knows what this movie is. And apparently, so does Sandler: on The Howard Stern Show, he said he’d make a bad movie on purpose if Uncut Gems (2019) failed to garner Academy Award buzz. Even if he later alluded to the comment as a joke, I can’t help but wonder…is that how Hubie Halloween happened? Perhaps we’ll never know.
Regardless, the film basically compresses 30 years of Adam Sandler movie canon into 102 minutes of farce. The plot is mindless, of course. Hubie Dubois, played by Sandler, is basically Bobby from The Water Boy aged up 20 years. On Halloween. Hubie takes the mantle of “Halloween Helper” every October 31st, a sort of hall monitor. Of course the townsfolk mock and bully him. Of course the hot girl is head-over-heels for him, for no apparent reason. Of course there are pee jokes and raunchy old lady jokes and the regular Happy Madison Productions fare. Again, what did you expect? An Oscar winner? Go see Uncut Gems.
And yet, we love it!
Or at least the general population loves it. Hubie Halloween rocketed to the top spot on Netflix, whether you like it or not. The financials remain to be seen, but I suspect the movie will succeed. And the reason is simple: nostalgia. Anybody who watched a gross-out comedy in the 90’s will get this one immediately.
The film evokes memories of a simpler time: boogers and butt holes mixed with inappropriate characters. Comedies didn’t need to be “intellectual”. Absurdist fantasy ruled the day. The numbers don’t lie. The Water Boy grossed $190 million against a $23 million budget.
But here I invoke the Indiana Jones dilemma: if you had never seen Raiders of the Lost Ark, would Last Crusade be as good? I offer the same comparison here: if Hubie Halloween were the first Sandler film watched, would it stand on it’s own merit?
Almost certainly not.
Just like my Night of the Living Dead (1968) review we need to look at the totality of the film experience. Hubie Halloween is a contemporary throw-back to older Sandler films. Most of the laughs I had were because the film was in poor taste, or it referenced better films I had already seen (read: Waterboy). Keep in mind I nerd out over filmmaker trivia. I doubt most people would spot or appreciate the many call backs to previous Sandler films here.
This film was made for frat boys in their 40’s who remember Billy Madison (1995) or, once again, The Water Boy. In fact, I’ll say it: this movie is just The Water Boy if Bobby Bouchet were 40 and a Halloween Helper instead of a football player. Steer clear if you like high-brow humor. Or if you’ve hit puberty.
5/10, which means it isn’t horrible, but it ain’t nothing special. Watch The Water Boy instead.