Tucker and Dale vs Evil
tucker and dale vs evil | eli craig | morgan jurgenson | tyler labine | alan tudyk | katrina bowden | comedy | canada | jesse moss | philip granger | brandon jay mclaren | christie laing | chelan simmons | travis nelson | alex arsenault | adam beauchesne | slasher
Film: Tucker and Dale vs Evil
Director: Eli Craig
Writer: Eli Craig and Morgan Jurgenson
Starring: Tyler Labine, Alan Tudyk and Katrina Bowden
This film was one that I blinded checked out while I was working at Family Video. At that time I would randomly take home films that were coming out to see if I could find diamonds in the rough. I know after that first viewing I enjoyed it, but then the more I heard about it, the more I wanted to give it a second viewing. I checked this out at the time with my girlfriend during October as I thought it would be a fun film as she’s still fairly new to the genre. There has now been a third viewing for the Podcast Under the Stairs’ Summer Challenge Series for the 2010s. The synopsis is affable hillbillies Tucker (Alan Tudyk) and Dale (Tyler Labine) are on vacation at their dilapidated cabin when they’re mistaken for murderers by a group of preppy college students.
We begin with a film crew going into a building. We learn that it is an active crime scene and the cameraman is scared. The reporter mocks him, but then they’re attacked by someone with half of their face burned. We then cut to the past to see what led us here.
We follow a group of college students as they head for the wilderness of West Virginia for a camping trip. The guys are all in a fraternity together and led by Chad (Jesse Moss). The problem with him is that he thinks he’s better than everyone. His girlfriend is there, Allison (Katrina Bowden). His frat brothers along are Jason (Brandon Jay McLaren), Chuck (Travis Nelson), Todd (Alex Arsenault) and Mitch (Adam Beauchesne). Also along are Naomi (Christie Laing) and Chloe (Chelan Simmons).
On their drive, they almost collide with a truck that belongs to two rednecks with the driver being Dale and the heavier one is Tucker. We see that they are actually fairly intelligent and actually Tucker is kind of genius because he remembers everything he hears. They’re on their way to a cabin they just purchased as their vacation home.
Both groups meet up at the store and the college kids think these two country folk are creepy. Tucker falls for Allison immediately as she’s the most beautiful girl he’s ever seen. He tries to talk to her, but fumbles over his words. This infuriates Chad who goes off and they leave. The Sheriff (Philip Granger) pulls over the duo and he doesn’t like the looks of the two. He tells them they should go back home.
Chad actually hates rednecks and tells the group the story of a massacre that occurred where they are in the past. Tucker and Dale arrive at their cabin and go about fixing it up. That night they go fishing in the same lake the college students go skinny dipping. The two see them and spook Allison. This causes her to fall off a rock and she hits her head, knocking her out. The rest of her group sees them taking her and think they’re kidnapping the unconscious woman.
They then attempt to save her, but they’re quite unlucky and start to kill themselves in some pretty crazy ways. Chad and the surviving members though think it is Tucker and Dale killing them. They want revenge and to save Allison. It appears though there’s more to this story than what Chad shared, plus there’s a side to it that he has no idea about either.
Now if you’ve read reviews I’ve wrote in the past, you know that I’m not always the biggest fan of horror comedies. Looking back on what I originally wrote, I’ve definitely changed quite a bit, because I really like this one actually. It has such an interesting concept and how things play out is great.
Something that I want to point out is the changing of roles here. Chad and the frat brothers think they’re better because they’re in college and they just have that ‘bro’ feel to them. That’s not new. What is interesting though is that Tucker is actually a genius and both he and Dale are really nice guys. They’re not actually trying to hurt them, which you don’t normally see in films like this. The movie really is playing on the hixploitation sub-genre. It is also funny that Allison is going to school to be a therapist because she feels like a lot of problems are caused by a lack of communication, which is exactly what is happening here. This definitely adds to comedy.
I want to shift to the effects next so I can talk about the deaths. Some of them are hilarious to me and just how seeing things from both sides, you can understand why there’s fear. If either side would just communicate, a lot of things could be avoided. This includes falling into a wood chipper or impaling themselves on a spear. The thing is, I know there’s CGI here, but it is blended so well with the practical effects. It definitely looks real and the film is shot in way that definitely helps for sure.
Moving next the pacing, this movie has a runtime of 89 minutes and it is perfect. We get that cold open to this before shifting to meeting our characters. It doesn’t waste any time to show to show that the college kids fear and hate the rednecks, even though there’s no reason to. It is playing with stereotypes and I’m sure movies like Deliverance. People start to die afterwards and the comedy is throughout. Something interesting though is that the comedy really doesn’t hurt this film for me. I think because Chad is so evil, it really makes you wonder if the heroes will be able to defeat him. The irony is that he thinks Tucker and Dale are the ones who are pure evil. The ending also works for me, even though it is a bit sappy. I still like it though.
As for the acting, I actually think it is great. I became a fan of Labine after this one and would watch most everything he was in because of it. He’s an awkward, big, lovable teddy bear around Allison and it’s adorable. Tudyk is solid in his performance. He’s just a solid actor. I fell in love with Bowden after seeing here her. She’s beautiful and her performance was solid. Moss does really well at being a jerk as well. It grows into straight evil the more we learn about him which works. I thought the rest of the cast rounded this film out for what was needed. It was also fun seeing Simmons who has done a few movies in the genre.
Now with that said, I liked this the first time I saw and I like it even more after this second viewing. Being that this is comedy, it still actually works as a horror film. There’s an interesting concept that we see played out in films like Wrong Turn or Deliverance and playing with the troupes. The acting is really good across the board and I think the pacing is solid as well. The effects were good with a blend of CGI and practical. The soundtrack really didn’t stand out to me. It does fit for what is needed though. If you’re looking for a horror comedy, this is definitely on my short list of recommendations. Overall I’d say this is a good movie for sure.
My Rating: 8.5 out of 10