Hubie Halloween Review – Worst Movie Ever?


Eva Brooks, A&E Editor in Chief

The Internet and I have been waiting all year for this. In January of 2020, back when this year seemed like it would go normally, Adam Sandler made a bold proclamation: if his role in the the drama Uncut Gems wasn’t nominated for an Oscar, he would go out of his way to make the worst movie he possibly could. Adam Sandler is a prolific actor and producer, and has made several movies I and others would consider “good”, but some of his comedies had also gained a reputation of being lowest tier humor and plots. The idea of a director who had already made movies like “Jack and Jill” and “Pixels” purposely making the worst movie ever seemed to be a recipe for the best hate watch movie ever conceived. And it seemed to be finally here.

The movie “Hubie Halloween” was released on Netflix on October 7th–meaning you can watch it right now–and it seemed like this would be the “worst movie ever” we had all been waiting for. Several prolific review outlets like the New York Post and the Independent covered this movie as potentially being the worst ever. It made me sit down on a long car ride with my headphones on to tune in, excited to see if it was really as bad as promised.

The plot, like of most Sandler comedies, is simple: Sandler plays Hubie Dubois, a well meaning man with an odd accent described as a “loser” by the town, who is convinced that his town of Salem is haunted. This is seen as ridiculous until children actually start to disappear in the town, which Hubie responds to by going out to search for them. He has to woo a girl, stake out some places, and save the town, while possibly gaining some newfound respect along the way. The premise, as bare bones as it is, seems rife for plenty of disgusting moments to make this the worst movie ever.

However, it doesn’t seem to live up to the title of worst movie ever. In fact, while not the greatest movie ever by any means, it does garner some chuckles while having a nice sense of charm. Sandler himself has the same kind of material to work with, as a loser in a set up filled with potential for lowbrow jokes, but he seems to carry himself differently. Perhaps it’s the false stuffed up sort of inflection he gives the character, or perhaps he’s able to put heart and charm into the character by clearly meaning well and wanting to help those around him, giving him depth beyond his typical protagonist. Sandler movie regulars like Kevin James and Rob Schneider are also able to float the movie well, and love interest of the movie Julie Bowen is able to convince the audience of her care for Hubie. These performances are also buoyed by some nice cameos, such as of Shaquille O’Neal as a radio host with a unexpectedly high voice (provided by Vivian Nixon). Characters like these are able to secure a sense of charm that keeps the movie afloat, along with some moments that did make me chuckle. It’s not a laugh-out-loud comedy, but it certainly manages to amuse the audience.

That doesn’t mean it’s perfect, even with acknowledging that the movie isn’t trying to be high art. The movie itself looks like every Halloween movie, with tons of autumn shots and dark streets illuminated by street lamps, and these aren’t unique by any stretch to the movie. The movie also does try to set up a genuine mystery plot, throwing in the idea of some central characters secretly being at fault, but the reveal is about what you would expect, and doesn’t even attempt to push against the status quo the movie sets in the first 15 minutes. However, the movie still manages to have a sense of upbeat Halloween spirit that would make it a fun watch I would recommend to anyone who wants to add a bit of holiday cheer to the background of a sleepover or party. However, this clear effort in some of the jokes and plot lines, and this overall fun experience leaves one question unanswered: why doesn’t this movie bomb?

The answer seems to be that this sadly wasn’t the movie we were looking for. The movie began production in July of 2019, as part of a deal Adam Sandler made with Netflix, and the principle production wrapped in early September. This is around the same time that Uncut Gems was released to the Telluride Film Festival. Everything indicates that this movie was almost completely finished before the wide release of Uncut Gems, the announcement of the 2019 Oscar nominees, and the famous promise made by Sandler. Despite the press picking this movie up as the proclaimed “worst” as the next one to be made by Adam Sandler, all signs indicate this movie was not made to be the worst movie ever. While we don’t have an awful Halloween movie to watch now, we can rest assured that there is one still coming too. In the meantime, we can gather to watch a fun, light-hearted comedy as we wait for the real horrors to come.