The Beach House (2020) | SHUDDER
Being an Adam Sandler fan since the very beginning has been like riding on one of those ancient wooden roller coasters that have no reason to still be standing upright; starting with a jarring uphill battle only to ultimately be thrown around ruthlessly to a point where every muscle in your body is tense and it’s quite possible you may never recover. Hubie Halloween keeps that analogy alive.
Expectations were moderate for Adam Sandler’s latest comedy, Hubie Halloween. The trailer failed to impress, but when does any Sandler trailer? However, this is a Halloween film that looks to play on the spirit of the month, which is something we rarely actually see anymore, and it’s in comedy form. To be completely honest, due to Steven Brill's direction, not speaking on the writing, the film is horribly shot. There are so many awkward cuts, and so many crucial moments and supposed “scary” moments that suffer from a lack of finesse. The rest of the critiques lie within the plot and the humor the film attempts to embrace.
Comedy is subjective. Entirely subjective. If you love Sandler’s humor in every single film he stars, then who’s to say you won’t find this film absolutely hilarious. However in my own personal opinion, the humor in Hubie Halloween completely misses the mark in almost every aspect, excluding a few moments where the film did exorcise a couple chuckles from my body. The plot is a whole other story, as the story takes us on a trip around the town of Salem, only to introduce cameos (which won’t be a surprise for Sandler fans) and make crude gags (fart jokes, vomit humor, sex jokes) which all lack any complexity or thought. There are twists within the plot, all of which are revealed in some of the most nonsensical ways; remember when stories like 50 First Dates took a direct path through a story to get at our hearts and make us laugh along the way. This film has no sense of direction and just goes until it runs out of ideas, which is fairly obvious with the final twist / conclusion of the film.
ACTING | CHARACTERS | DIALOGUE:
It’s become a habit to have subtitles on during any film, just so the entirety of the script’s dialogue can reach me. With Hubie Halloween I was so fortunate to have those turned on as almost every line of dialogue from the lead, Sandler as Hubie, is difficult to understand. It’s difficult to have jokes land when you can’t comprehend what was even said. Julie Bowen (Modern Family, Happy Gilmore) takes on the most obnoxious of the roles as an adoring fan of Hubie, who at one time was the most popular person in the town. Her character felt the most false of everyone in the town, and that might be why the film leaned a certain way at one point, but her character and her children that are implemented into the story just inflate the runtime. The best aspect of the film was the weird ultra-nice neighbor that suddenly moved in next door to Hubie, Walter, played by the always stellar Steve Buscemi. His storyline, although the most ridiculous, had my attention up until the end. Ray Liotta takes on a supporting role here as a bully of Hubie, and similar to a majority of the town, is obnoxiously vicious towards the man with no reasoning behind their attacks. Not an overly stacked cast like the Grown Ups films, but they still have a great cast wasted on weak characters and a clumsy, all over the place storyline.
'Hubie Halloween' is just another Netflix Sandler film
HUBIE HALLOWEEN (2020)
VISUAL EFFECTS | MAKEUP | DESIGN:
Visually the film feels like Halloween; maybe not the Halloween that you or I may be used to, but it does feel like it takes place within the week of Halloween. Decorations are plentiful, haunted houses are utilized, and the city of Salem comes alive briefly in the Halloween spirit, only to let it all disappear as the film hits the halfway mark and the production ceases to know how to make the film reflect the title holiday. Yes, costumes are always in view. Yes, decorations remain in focus throughout as well. But, the Halloween spirit initially found at the beginning is lost once the film crosses into an overreaching runtime.
MUSIC | SCORE | SOUND DESIGN:
The score is significantly more subtle here than almost any other recent Sandler produced picture, however it does have its intrusive cues. Traditional Halloween songs do make an appearance over the films internal radio, but it doesn’t overstay its welcome. The weakest element of the sound, apart from Hubie’s muffled vocal audio, is the gag that takes place with the radio DJ. It doesn’t hit at all, and the film is hindered even more by introducing such a bizarre spin.
Hubie Halloween is just another Netflix Sandler film. The best part of the film is within the first two minutes, and that’s honestly just because it’s a shock that a “beloved” character from a prior Sandler production makes a cameo appearance. Get passed that and you’ll know everything is downhill from there. I wanted to enjoy Hubie Halloween, I truly did, as I love Sandler as a person and love when his comedies do work. However, when they don’t… they just don’t.
HUBIE HALLOWEEN Is Available To Stream Now On NETFLIX