There are many movies that are worth seeing, but there are a lot of stinkers as well. My goal here is to weed out the good from the bad.
2020 Netflix Halloween Countdown
As crazy as it is to believe, it is already October 2020—it has been a bizarre year, for sure. For the past three years, I have been spending October watching and reviewing some of the spooky, scary, gory, chilling, and horror-themed movies on Netflix. With each review, I will include a table that ranks these movies from best to worst. This year will be my fourth year doing this, and I plan on publishing a new review each day. Some will be from movies that I have reviewed before, but there will be some new movies on here is well. So if you are looking to get in the Halloween spirit by watching some Halloween-style movies, then these articles are for you!
Hubie Dubois (Adam Sandler) is easily the most hated man in Salem, Massachusetts. He has been the local loser his entire life, always seeming to find himself as an easy target for local bullies. As an adult, nothing has changed. The local cops see him as little more than the local idiot who has to cried wolf on countless occasions, and even the local kids bully him. There are some in town who like Hubie and even sympathize with him, but the vast majority seem to be against him.
Despite what others think of him, Hubie is and always has been devoted to keeping the town safe, and in Salem, Massachusetts, Halloween is an especially popular night for mischief. However, this year, there is something strange going on. After a few townspeople go missing, Hubie begins to suspect there is something monstrous on the loose in Salem. With the cops not believing him, and the people of Salem in danger, Hubie—with his trusted thermos—must set his fears aside and save the town on his own.
The Pros & Cons
|The Pros||The Cons|
The Cast (+5pts)
Hubie’s Voice (-4pts)
Some Comedy (+3pts)
The Rest of the Comedy (-4pts)
The Mystery (+3pts)
The Plot & The Reveal (-5pts)
Pro: The Cast (+5pts)
First there was Adam Sandler, who delivered what you would expect Adam Sandler to deliver when playing a village idiot. Then there were the actors that you would expect to pop up in an Adam Sandler comedy. There was Kevin James as the local cop, Steve Buscemi as the creepy new neighbor, and there were also a couple of surprise appearances from a few more of Adam Sandler’s friends. On top of that, there were also a number of side characters played by notable comedic actors such as Maya Rudolph, Ray Liotta, Julie Bowen, Keenan Thompson, Tim Meadows, Michael Chiklis, and more.
It was a cast loaded with notable comedic actors. Some were ones you would expect, and some were surprise appearances, but they all came together to form an entertaining cast. Adam Sandler was pretty ridiculous in the lead role, but it was a ridiculousness that was entertaining in at least a handful of scenes, and tolerable in the others. The rest of the cast was pretty fun, both in terms of what they brought to their respective characters and in terms of keeping me wondering what familiar faces I would see pop up next. It was an okay movie at best, but the cast was definitely one of its strengths.
Con: Hubie’s Voice (-4pts)
I do not know who made the decision, but while it was most likely Adam Sandler, someone made the decision that Hubie Dubois needed to have a silly voice. It is not that I thought that this decision was a mistake, but the voice that they went with definitely was. It was like they decided they wanted Hubie Dubois to sound kind of like Billy Madison, but not exactly like Billy Madison. Their solution was to give Hubie Dubois Billy Madison's voice, but then they also made Hubie Dubois mumble every word that came out of his mouth. It made it so that the sound of Hubie Dubois' voice was annoying in some scenes, and outright hard to understand in others. The mumble also made him mostly emotionless, which made it hard to connect with the character. This was all amplified by the fact that Hubie was the main character, so what would have been a negligible issue for a side character, ended up being a far more frustrating issue for the main character.
Pro: Some Comedy (+3pts)
While there were not a lot of great comedic moments in this movie, there were some running jokes that kept making me laugh. The first was all of the objects that people tried to throw at Hubie while he was riding his bike at various points in the movie. It was a dumb joke in terms of the ridiculous things that were thrown at him, but it kept making me laugh nonetheless. I also enjoyed the awkwardness and ridiculousness surrounding Steve Buscemi's character, and I liked the pairing of Maya Rudolph and Tim Meadows' characters. There were other examples of comedic moments that I thought worked, at least to an extent, but I do not need to list them all here. None of these things provided hard, laugh-out-loud moments, but they did manage to keep me chuckling and at least somewhat entertained.
Con: The Rest of the Comedy (-4pts)
This was definitely a bummer, but most of the comedy in this movie fell flat, at least for me. I never found this movie very funny, even when it was at its best, and it was not at its best very often. There were a lot of attempted comedic moments that got no reaction out of me whatsoever, and keep in mind that I do not consider myself to be very difficult to amuse for comedies like this one. I like dumb comedies, so I should have had a lot more fun with this movie than I did. Instead, the movie had some chuckle worthy moments scattered throughout, and that was about it. For the most part, the comedy did not really land, and it made the movie feel like a pretty bland, disappointing comedy.
Pro: The Mystery (+3pts)
The mystery was the driving force behind the plot of this movie. I will get into what I disliked about the filmmakers execution of this mystery later, but the mystery itself was one that made it easy to get engaged in the story. Regardless of what was happening or how well the filmmakers were executing the plot, it was the type of mystery that just inherently had me engaged in seeing who—or what—was haunting Salem. I thought the filmmakers could have done a much better job at executing and following through with this mystery, but the mystery itself was one that made had me playing along, guessing what the big reveal would be, who would be behind the abductions, and why they were doing it.
Con: The Plot & The Reveal (-5pts)
The filmmakers had the premise for their mystery, but it seemed like they did not have much of an idea of how to follow through with it in a compelling way. Rather than build suspense, and raise the stakes, we just kept seeing characters we did not care about getting abducted. The filmmakers also threw in a number of potential suspects, but they kept throwing these potential suspects out the window almost as quickly as they were introduced as suspects. It also seemed like they wanted a clever reveal, and they thought the best way to do this was to pick a culprit that the audience would least suspect. They definitely succeeded in that regard, but the actual culprit felt so far from out of left field that it made the reveal feel anti-climactic.
The filmmakers had a decent idea here. It was an Adam Sandler comedy where he played the village idiot, who cried wolf all the time, and now there was an actual monster or killer on the loose. The problem was that the filmmakers did not do a very good job of following through with that premise. The plot had no real direction, and the reveal made it feel like the filmmakers were more concerned about surprising the audience than they were about delivering a reveal that made any sense for the story.
Grade: C- (73pts)
Hubie Halloween was yet another Adam Sandler comedy that came to Netflix. I have seen a number of his Netflix movies, and while I liked some quite a bit, others have left a lot to be desired. This movie was one of the latter. The cast was decent, with an assortment of familiar faces from Adam Sandler comedies, and a handful of other proven comedic talents. There was also obviously Adam Sandler himself, who delivered the comedic performance that you would expect him to.
Unfortunately, the voice Adam Sandler used for Hubie was either inaudible or frustrating, varying from one scene to the next. The comedy also mostly fell flat—and that is coming from someone who is normally easily amused by movies like this—and while the filmmakers had a decent mystery premise, the filmmakers ultimately failed in its execution. They delivered a mystery that had no real direction and they cared more about delivering an unexpected reveal, rather than a satisfying one that made any sense for the story. While it was not exactly a bad movie, it definitely left a lot to be desired.
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