I normally do not do movie or book reviews but I just have to come here and gush about the new Halloween movie on Netflix, “Hubie Halloween!”
I was tentative to watch this at first because to be a “good” Halloween movie, I would think that it has to have a creepy, gory, spooky horror. I, for one, am easily scared; I would get nightmares after watching the first “Harry Potter” movie and have not recovered from seeing just one still from “Coraline.” However, I wanted to feel the Halloween spirit this year especially because I could not go to any pumpkin patches or hang out with friends, so I decided to live this Halloween vicariously through Adam Sandler… a sentence I never thought I would write out. To safeguard against potential nightmares, I came up with a plan to look ahead using the scrubber at the bottom of the screen. Besides, how gory could an Adam Sandler movie really even be? So far, so good.
For one, I thoroughly enjoyed the aesthetic and setting of the movie: it is set in present-day Salem, Massachusetts (cute, quaint Halloween vibes!) and is centered around a few families and individuals. The color scheme is super sunny and filled with your typical fall colors. The night scenes also include the warmth and orange-y color scheme. I should note that it is a modern, light-hearted comedy, so I felt very grounded. Often, a lot of creepy movies are secluded from the typical world (Bly Manor is set in an isolated estate, a lot of horror movies are set hundreds of years ago). This grounded feeling eased my anxiety, especially as someone who is more prone to being terrified of Halloween movies.
Getting into the contents of the movie, it is made up of a really large, recognizable cast: a cameo-lover’s absolute dream. A lot of these recognizable faces, like China Anne McLean, Kenan Thompson, and Ben Stiller had one or only a few scenes, but waiting to see who else would pop up in the movie was a delight. If you love the group casts of “Saturday Night Live” or Disney Channel, you will be happy to see a bunch of familiar faces: Mikey Day, Maya Rudolph, and Melissa Villasenor. From Disney Channel, there are Peyton List, Bradley Steven Perry, Karan Brar, and a very touching tribute to Cameron Boyce at the end. I found these little squads so much fun, as it felt like seeing a friend group after a long time. It was also amusing to see the Disney kids (and Noah Schnapp!) playing mischievous characters in a raunchy-ish movie. Note: the movie was very PG-13 in the sense that it had virtually no explicit sexual scenes (although a few sexual innuendos for the comedy) and tolerable spooky-ness.
This movie was filled with feel-good lessons and was really well done without coming off as “lame.” I think this movie’s ability to maintain its coolness and mystery and having the audience genuinely enjoy the moral lessons is something it should be celebrated for!
The lessons were centered around doing the right thing, always, even if it meant going against high school bullies, or putting yourself at risk of bullying for the sake of being a good and nice person to one’s community. There were also themes of family and having your friends, siblings and mom’s back even if it looks uncool. This movie was really refreshing as it had the “cool” and “hot” characters actively choosing to be nice and have their family’s back. The days of the mean bully being cool have passed within this movie.
I found Adam Sandler’s character as funny and enjoyable, and while I expected his character’s mumbled and squeaky voice to get annoying after a while, I appreciated it as it fit really well into the character and storyline he was acting in. I really found myself rooting for Hubie and wanted a happy ending for him.
All the subplots were sweet and balanced: there were a few stories going on, and a few of them being love stories. They were not overdone and scattered well throughout the movie. They flowed well without overstepping on each other, and of course, flowed really well with the comedy.
The mystery, too, was fresh and I did not see it coming! You might think that a feel-good, moral lesson filled movie would not be able to focus on and execute a plot-twist mystery, but it did! I thoroughly enjoyed the movie for its spooky mystery Halloween movie vibes, but also for the cutesy subplots. I even appreciate this movie for coming out and sharing anti-bully messages. I think directing these lessons to adults is not something we always see, but it is still necessary.
Overall, I think this movie did all that in a really smooth way and did not come off as lame or any less of a typical Halloween movie, making for an easy but engaged viewing. Not to mention that the setting made you feel as if you were experiencing that Halloween excitement, something I personally desperately needed.
I 100% recommend this movie because the spooky level is suitable for everyone, the humor is spot-on and the exciting cast made for a refreshing yet traditional Halloween experience.