"Tucker and Dale VS Evil" is the kind of movie that plays best with both a crowd and a general understanding of the horror genre. On that note, I strongly believe that the more you know, the more you enjoy and appreciate the film. This is what Eli Craig - who made his directorial debut with this film - was aiming for; and his ambition neither begins nor ends there. He has his sights set on a number of things, all of which he's able to grasp seemingly effortlessly. He's completely capable of fighting his way through all the mainstream muck and giving horror and comedy fans alike something that they have been secretly craving for years; and that is a funny, appealing, and surprisingly genuine horror-comedy that packs about as much laughs and heart as it does blood. It's a rare kind of film, yes, but it has finally come around; and it's as good as you'd expect it to be.
Of course, that does not mean to say that the film will be without its detractors. You might not find "Tucker and Dale" to your liking if you find its violent and dark humor to be off-putting, or if you see it as merely a crude exploitative piece of trash trying to pass as comic gold. If such thoughts go through your mind prior to your viewing, you might not want to see it at all; because Craig's movie is what it is, and in my opinion, it's pretty damn good as far as that goes.
The story opens up effectively with a little satirical spin on the whole mockumentary-esque style of horror films; marking just one of the plentiful discreet lampoons of the genre to come. I won't describe this short scene with much detail since I feel it gives away a bit too much of the story; and if you do see the movie, you'll understand the opening more once you've finished "Tucker and Dale" in its entirety.
So from there, the film cuts to a car filled with College students; too many of them to name or count, I suppose. They're in the woods of West Virginia for what I presume to be a weekend of camping. On the first night, they tell scary stories and go skinny dipping; and in the process of the second thing, one member of the group - Allison (Katrina Bowden) - falls from a rock after a nasty shock and bangs her head.
It would appear she had spotted two on-looking rednecks; the titular Tucker (Alan Tudyk) and Dale (Tyler Labine). They witness her great fall and rescue her; although their attempts to contact the rest of the kids ends in failure, as the opposing party believes that the duo has in fact succeeded in kidnapping their friend; and now, they must retrieve her. So, Tucker and Dale take Allison back to their "vacation home" - as Tucker tends to call it - and while she is initially frightened by the stories she has grown up on regarding rednecks and hillbillies like the duo presented here, she soon learns that both looks and broad sweeping generalizations can be deceiving.
As it turns out, Tucker and Dale are neither murderous nor dangerous whatsoever; they have not kidnapped the girl, although the rest of the teens haven't a clue about the truth. Therefore, they make some hilariously pathetic attempts to assault the two rednecks and reclaim their girl; most of these outstanding failures end in incidental bloodshed. If you watched the trailers for the film, you might have noticed that quite a few of the kids end up dying; in some respectfully gruesome and ironic ways. I think it's quite clever that Tucker and Dale never quite lay a finger on them until the end; where they are forced to fight back against the violent and oh-so-unhappy campers.
It would appear that Craig has closely analyzed the well-known and reviled clichés of modern, classic, and past horror cinema. His film is essentially a glorious and highly inventive satire of such clichés; it stuffs as many of them as it can into the film's 82 minute run-time, eventually striking gold whenever it attempts to use them as objects of comedy. As a big fan of horror movies and cinema alike; I was consistently entertained and loved the hell out of "Tucker and Dale VS Evil". Or at least I liked it to a certain point; and that was as far as I was willing to go. Is it a perfect film? God no. But it's still a very good, very engaging, and very hilarious one; and that's what counts.
And oh, look; it's also a movie with a message at its core. Yes, the final saving grace - among other things - to the film is the moral of its story; which seems to be the general opposition of stereotyping towards any group of people. The kids basically kill themselves; they are ignorant and revel in their own false generalizations towards hillbillies and rednecks. Tucker and Dale just want to kick back, relax, do some fishing, and enjoy some time together as two very close friends. And while we're on this particular note, I'd just like to say; Labine and Tudyk really make these characters work. Both Tucker and Dale are nigh impossible not to love; and my hopes are that the success of Craig's first film will spawn either a few spinoffs or a few sequels. In short, I just want to see these characters again in the future; and I get the feeling that one film cannot properly contain them.
"Tucker and Dale VS Evil" is an honest horror-comedy that knows exactly what it's doing. It was everything that I could have wanted out of a movie like this; and I certainly would recommend it to most people. It's a showcase of a new talent in the movie business - that being Eli Craig - and introduces a likable duo of new characters. I think it will leave most audiences with positive emotions; leading up to an eventual sympathy for the common redneck. Remember: even if he makes piggy squeals and plays a banjo, he might not be all that bad of a guy.
2-3 weeks ago, I saw this film in a friend's house (same friend who gave me the Troll dvds) and I was absolutely stunned how much I enjoyed this film. This is what horror-comedy is all about! I mean, it is filled with stereotypical characters, and yet they were so likable. (those who loved "Tremors" would know what I am talking about). It is so nice to finally see a really good horror comedy. The death scenes were creatively funny, and nope, it does not … more
TBA - 89mins - Comedy/Horror - 9th December 2010 A bit of a breath of fresh air is this in a low budget and yet well produced comedy horror that gives Død Snø and the likes a run for their money. Tucker & Dale Vs Evil follows two redneck hillbillies- Tucker (Alan Tudyk) and Dale (Tyler Labine) who head into the woods in the Appellation Mountains so that they can drink some beers, do some fishing and fix up a worn down cabin to turn it into the holiday home … more
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … more
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