Dog’s Movie House: “Hubie Halloween” Frustrating, Yet Good-Natured, Piece Of Cinematic Excrement!
The story of “Hubie Halloween” involves Hubie Dubois (Sandler) an emotionally-stunted, clueless, but well meaning fellow who has taken the job as “Halloween Monitor” for the town of Salem. As an ancestor to one of the women killed for being a witch, Hubie’s taken it upon himself to make sure Halloween is celebrated as safely and sanely as possible. But, being a Sandler picture, his character is so off-the-rails and all over the place that he’s hated by just about everyone in town. Hubie’s the subject of cruel pranks, is scared of his own shadow, and has the social graces of your average mentally deficient gerbil. (All in the name of humor, of course.) The only people who seem to care about Hubie are his doting mother (June Squibb, who manages to stand out in this mess) and the former homecoming queen of their high school, Violet (Julie Bowen, needing to be in a better picture.) When an escaped mental patient from another town coincides with a series of disappearances of the town’s leading citizens, it’s up to Hubie to prove himself and actually save the day.
Like I said, there’s a potential sweetness to “Hubie Halloween” that good have made this into a neat little story with a little slapstick humor make it stand out, but this being a Happy Madison production, any of that sweetness is buried under mounds and mounds of alleged humor that might be best used as fertilizer for next year’s crops. It’s like covering your favorite candy bar with dog turds: there’s sweet goodness to be found but I’m sure as hell not going to dig for it. Every story beat has an out-of-left-field joke and none (I mean, none) of them tickled my funny bone in the slightest. The inconsistencies in Hubie’s character are maddening: In one scene he’s dodging projectiles hurled at him like he’s an X-Games athlete, yet in another scene he can barely walk without running into either a car or a wall. I could forgive this crap if it made me laugh: unfortunately not laughing gives me time to realize how foolish all of this is.
Of course, being a Sandler film, “Hubie Halloween” has his usual cast of friends such as Kevin James, Rob Schneider, Tim Meadows, and so on. Even the usually reliable Maya Rudolph is wasted here. The film also manages to cast some respectable actors such as Ray Liotta and Steve Buscemi in roles I’m sure they won’t be putting on future resumes.
The biggest frustration for me is that “Hubie Halloween” could have been a sweet, fun movie. There’s something there that could resonate with viewers, making this film a possible Halloween mainstay. But it’s littered with so much junk that any possible timelessness “Hubie Halloween” could have just melts away every time Sandler opens his mouth and let’s loose with that irritating voice. For diehard Sandler fans only (and shame on you, heh)! 1 1/2 Out Of 5 On Kendog’s Barkometer! So Sayeth The Kendog!