Review: Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil
There are tons of cliché horror movies out there starring a group of relatively harmless, young protagonists who consequently end up hunted down and murdered by a group of rednecks that have replaced “southern hospitality” with “southern brutality.” However, Tucker & Dale vs Evil turns the classic plot upside down and imagines what it would be like if the “scary” rednecks were actually more harmless than the vacationing college students.
Please be warned that there might be some potential SPOILERS within this review.
The movie follows both the groups of Tucker (Alan Tudyk) and Dale (Tyler Labine) and the college kids as they are headed to the same small town in a secluded part of West Virginia. Tucker and Dale have just purchased a new vacation home deep within the woods, and they’ve come to inspect their investment. The college kids happen upon Tucker and Dale at a local convenient store while on their way to their campsite. When the two groups meet, the socially awkward hillbillies come off as intimidating and crazy despite their best efforts to seem friendly. After the encounter, the college kids are left thinking the harmless duo is bad news, but they all soon forget about the chance meeting as the night wears on.
That night, Tucker and Dale hit the lake near their dilapidated new cabin for a little nighttime fishing. At the same time, the college kids are visiting the lake for a late night swim. Neither group is aware of the other until one of the college kids, Allison (Katrina Bowden), notices Tucker and Dale, falls and knocks herself unconscious during the fall. Luckily, Tucker and Dale are there to save the girl and take her back to their cabin, but her friends mistake the kind gesture as a kidnapping after discovering their friend missing.
The opening scenes of the movie are some of the funniest the film has to offer. Witnessing the true sincerity and gentleness of the two title characters sinks in almost instantly, making the college kids perception of the two that much more absurd. The comedy continues throughout the movie as Tucker and Dale continuously make bad impressions, and the movie becomes more about the kids accidentally offing themselves in creative ways.
The actual storyline in the film slowly progresses to the rescue/kidnapping of Allison before a sudden halt at this point about halfway through the film. Then, the movie becomes a continuous stream of jokes and clever kills while doing little more than establishing a love interest between Dale and Allison. However, the film is wrapped up with a nice twist in the final scenes that make the whole film well worth a watch.
The special effects in the movie are superb; they really didn’t slack on the blood and gore seen throughout the film. Almost all of the kills in the movie are worth the time invested in the characters, and some of the deaths are just plain hilarious. The movie has many different horror elements and tones, but it rarely goes for any cheap scares and instead offers up the kids’ perspective on the pair of Tucker and Dale and some darker tones later in the film.
If you haven’t seen Tucker & Dale vs Evil yet, I would recommend going out and renting or purchasing it immediately. This is one movie that is definitely worth the hype it receives, and it is a film that people can enjoy whether they’re normally a fan of the horror genre or not. Although as the movie suggests, horror is in the eye of the beholder.