Tucker & Dale vs Evil (2011)

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but misunderstandings killed the college teen

Tucker and Dale are two best friends on vacation at their dilapidated mountain house, who are mistaken for murderous backwoods hillbillies by a group of obnoxious, preppy college kids. When one of the students gets separated from her friends, the boys try to lend a hand, but as the misunderstanding grows, so does the body count.

The film boasts a terrific spin on the typical view of horror films, taking the typical view of what is a horror villain as well as what is a hero, and turning them upside down to give us something original and thoroughly enjoyable.

Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine, best known for their roles in cult shows Firefly and Reaper, give terrific performances as the titular characters, managing to believably portray a great friendship with each other, leaving you to believe that the two of them do just want to fix up their vacation home rather than get caught up in all this murder nonsense.

Tucker is the more confident of the two, as greatly portrayed by Alan Tudyk, looking out for Dale and advising him on what to do. Dale sadly lacks confidence, leaving him to become a nervous wreck when trying to talk to the college girls, but his big heart and lovable nature leaves the audience to feel for him when he falters. Allie, the college girl Dale has feelings for, is quite the well rounded character, and manages to prove countless times that she's more than the typical airhead blonde type you get within the horror genre.

The college kids Allie hangs out with, however, are more like the typical teenage archetypes which you encounter within the average half-assed horror film, as you have the blonde airhead, the token character, and numerous others who do drugs, drink and go skinny dipping. After reading all of that, is there any wonder so many deaths occur? Chad, the increasingly psychotic leader of the college kids, makes for a great villain, who holds a deep and personal hatred towards the hillbillies, and is willing to go to any lengths in order to enact his hatred upon the two hillbilly leads. Also, a special mention must go to Jesse Moss, who gives a tremendous performance as Chad.

"That's an oddly shaped log..."

The best of the films' laughs come from the numerous misunderstandings which happen, as the two title characters unknowingly make many mistakes which leads the college kids to believing they're the typical bloodthirsty hillbillies who have taken Allie against her will, while more misunderstandings cause the body count to continue rising throughout the film's running time.

But the film isn't a perfect one, as the plot lost it's way towards the end, and I wasn't the biggest fan of the overall story's resolution, but I will admit that there was some greatness towards the final revelation. Also, the film opens with a cold opening which doesn't occur until a later point within the film, and frankly, I am not a fan of cold openings like these, which serve no particular purpose

Tucker & Dale vs Evil manages to work as both a horror film and a comedy film, but that doesn't mean it's only filled with horror and laughs, as we are given heart, character development and a message not to judge people by their initial impressions or their looks. Powered by a humorous script and the hilarious dialogue which is woven throughout, director Eli Craig shows a promising future by releasing this pleasant surprise.


Jeff SC said…
Sounds like a fun movie. My brothers both said it was good, so this just verifies it -- I need to watch it. Great review!
James Rodrigues said…
You certainly do, Jeff. Cheers for the comment.
Daniel Mumby said…
Good review, I shall be renting this sooner or later
Really good movie. I loved virtually every moment of it. I get the sense that one movie can't even begin to contain Tucker and Dale; there had better be sequels. Anyways, the film's strongest spot, in my opinion, is the unexpectedly big heart that it has. In particular, you're rooting for Dale because he's such a nice guy; and Tucker because he's just, well, Tucker. Good review.
ZombieBodhi said…
I just watched this movie last night and loved it. It's such a refreshing take in the horror/comedy genre, particularly in reversing the roles from typical slasher/hillbilly movies. What gets me, is why it took so long for someone to figure out this particular spin on the slasher flick.
James Rodrigues said…
great to hear, hope you enjoy it
James Rodrigues said…
The big heart was a strong addition, that cannot be denied. As much as I would like a sequel, I do have fears that it could dilute the characters, but who knows, it could be the next Scream franchise.
James Rodrigues said…
Well, lets just be thankful we actually got this film after all.