A story of true love, an underlying message to spread kindness, and lots of spooky instances which take place in Salem, MA. On the days leading up to Halloween, ‘Hubie Halloween’ is not your typical holiday classic.
Available on Netflix and released by Happy Madison, a production company known for making comedy films since it was founded in 1999 by Adam Sandler, Hubie Halloween is not the typical script that audiences expected. Centered around Hubie Dubois, a sort of man-child, played by Sandler, Hubie is both the star and the downfall of the movie.
While Sandler is known for his portrayal of infantile characters in many comedy films such as ‘50 First Dates’ and ‘Grown Ups,’ there is nothing funny about an innocent, whole-hearted man, getting constantly bullied and hurt by the entire neighborhood.
In the movie, Hubie is the self-proclaimed “Halloween Helper” of Salem’s legendary Halloween celebration and goes out of his way to ensure that everyone has a fun but safe experience. The plot thickens when Salem Police Department receives reports of a dangerous man who escaped from a nearby mental institution and was headed toward Salem. Things continue to get spookier when a new neighbor moves in next door to the Dubois home and starts to show signs of being a man-eating werewolf.
One constant throughout the film is Hubie’s loving and supportive mother, Mrs. Dubois. Played by June Squibb, Mrs. Dubois is a hilarious character in the film from her choice of eccentric t-shirts to her slight memory loss like when she blamed the neighbors for chasing Hubie around the yard when in reality it was her late husband. Mrs. Dubois is sweet-natured and is always encouraging Hubie to stand up to the neighborhood kids and adults who mock and ridicule him. Even the chief of police comes up with a plan to ensure that Hubie stops turning to the police for every instant that he deems suspicious.
This makes things extremely difficult for Hubie when he notices kids and other adults from his community actually go missing during the Halloween festivities. Against his better judgment, Hubie makes communication with the police chief, and the information is pushed under the rug.
At the end, when the witch of Salem is finally revealed, the people who went missing realize they are in real danger; they beg for freedom but still refuse to be kind to Hubie, the person who ends up helping them.
The movie starts off slow with no action but gets interesting when the neighborhood bullies start to go missing. The one aspect that ties the entire movie together is the underlying message to spread kindness delivered by Mrs. Dubois at the end.
“True bravery is being kind,” said Mrs. Dubois, “even to those who are being cruel to you.”
I would recommend this movie to a younger audience, around the age of 15 years old and younger. The distorted voice that Sandler uses is very distracting and even made certain scenes boring since the voice makes some phrases difficult to understand. The love story was dull and gets overshadowed by the kidnappings on Halloween night. However, ‘Hubie Halloween’ still teaches a valuable lesson about the value of kindness and is a good family film to watch on a cozy Halloween night.