Hubie Halloween review — Hubie Boucher, you can’t do it

By Marc Miller
Published: October 7, 2020 (Last updated: February 10, 2024)


Hubie Boucher, I mean Hubie Halloween, tries but can’t recreate the magic of old-school Sandler comedies. It ultimately misses its mark by recycling more storylines and characters than George Lucas.

Adam Sandler recycles more storylines and characters than George Lucas. This was one of the first thoughts I had when I saw Sandler’s Hubie Halloween mumble his way through each strained syllable. It’s basically the same loveable doofus shtick from The Water Boy, but without any sort of personality or a tenth of the likability. It might as well have been called Hubie Boucher.

Sandler, of course, plays the titular character. This time, however, there is no Louisiana drawl, and he doesn’t even bother trying to do a Boston accent either. The same Sandler players pop up (Steve Buscemi, Colin Quinn, Blake Clark, and for some reason, Dan Patrick) and even Julie Bowen reunites with Sandler for the first time since Happy Gilmore. She plays the apple of Hubie’s eye, Violet Valentine. Her ex and the current local police officer Steve (Kevin James) think he is the town weirdo. Problem is, this is in Salem, and Hubie starts to cry wolf that there is a real murderer on the loose, but no one will believe him.

You know exactly what you are getting with a Sandler-written comedy. The script though, by Sandler and long-time writing partner Tim Herlihy, has the same Sandler tropes; those of extreme, over-the-top cruel bullies, and weirdly placed one-liners. For instance, when told a widow is not wearing a wicked witch costume at her husband’s funeral, Hubie responds, “Okay. My boner.” It’s the same for almost every scene, just the jerks in this movie seem to have multiplied like gremlins.

That, in itself, is the problem with most Sandler comedies. Hubie Halloween’s villains are not just cartoonish but on par with Saturday morning type fair. You then combine this with a sophomoric comedy attempt by using the word “boner” repeatedly at least a half-dozen times. Even the cruel pranks miss their mark, making for a wildly uneven experience. You can’t say this was made for anyone but the most die-hard and loyal demographic of Sandler fans.

I have a soft spot for old-school Sandler comedies like Happy Gilmore and The Water Boy. I still contend Little Nicky is an inspired bit of peculiar lunacy. Hubie Halloween had its sights set on those efforts but misses the mark by recycling old gags, characters, and plots.

Make no mistake, ultimately, movies are a choice of how someone would like to waste their own time. The choice is yours — I would just waste mine re-watching Little Nicky instead.

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