Welcome to another installment of 31 Days of Halloween! This is our chance to set the mood for the spookiest and scariest month of the year as we focus our attention on horror and Halloween fun. For the month of October we’ll be sharing various pieces of underappreciated scary books, comics, movies, and television to help keep you terrified and entertained all the way up to Halloween.
This is a rare sighting folks: an Adam Sandler comedy that’s actually funny and entertaining. I never enjoyed any of Sandler’s films… until I saw the fantastic Uncut Gems. After that I thought that he should just stick to films like that instead of the screwball comedies he’s known for, but I must say that Hubie Halloween is a good bit of fun.
BUT… the comedy that works in Hubie Halloween never comes from Sandler… it comes from the supporting cast members. In this case, Sandler lucked out by having a really good cast and by having enough good jokes for those cast members.
At first, I thought I was in for a really rotten time when this started because Sandler’s character is such an obvious doofus and the jokes in the very beginning are stale. Luckily, once June Squibb comes into the picture along with other supporting castmates, the quality picks up.
June Squibb has a really good comedic delivery and the script provides her with some great gags, and she’s also just a really cute charming presence. Another really great comedic talent that blesses us here is Maya Rudolph who I absolutely adore. Maya Rudolph is just one of those comedic actresses that can always deliver the goods and she delivers them in large portions here for sure.
Tim Meadows and Ray Liotta have some nice moments as well even if they aren’t able to reach the heights of Squibb and Rudolph. I also want to give praise to Noah Schnapp and Paris Berelc because even though they don’t bring the laughs, they are just so charming and adorable and they were a joy to watch.
So the supporting cast is really great here and they bring their A game… and Sandler… well, none of his material really landed for me. Sandler’s character is really good hearted and sweet but the comedy that’s created for him in Hubie Halloween falls pretty flat. Most of his “comedy” is just lazy gags and he’s also trapped in a character that is a goofball in every single way possible… he just wasn’t funny in this. If the supporting characters had the same kind of material as him… this thing would have been a complete and utter bomb.
As far as the script goes, the criticism I have is that Sandler just doesn’t get any funny material at all, but the praise I have is that others do. Also, another aspect I did appreciate was the charming nature that’s very clearly present here. Like I mentioned, Noah Schnapp and Paris Berelc are just so cute. Schnapp’s character is that innocent high school boy who just wants to get a chance with his big crush and Berelc is the crush who sees something in him that the other boys in school don’t have. Is this cliché? Of course. Did I care? No I didn’t because they made it work.
Another charming aspect is the relationship between Sandler’s character and his mother played by June Squibb. They had good mother-son chemistry. These things may seem lame and very run of the mill, but in times like these, charm and some sweetness is appreciated. There’s nothing wrong with having some cliché details if you are able to make them work… and luckily for Hubie Halloween, they do work.
If Sandler could’ve had some funnier material for his own character and if they would have kept those good jokes coming just a little more often… this would’ve been surprisingly GREAT. As Hubie Halloween stands… it’s surprisingly GOOD, and that’s not bad, especially considering Sandler’s track record with comedy films.
Hubie Halloween is worth a trip to Salem due to the greatly talented supporting cast, enough good jokes, and some really refreshing charm.
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