Tucker & Dale vs. Evil

By Kathryn Schroeder
Released: September 30, 2011
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TUCKER & DALE VS. EVIL is a hilariously gory, good-spirited horror comedy, doing for killer rednecks what Shaun of the Dead did for zombies. 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. TUCKER & DALE VS. EVIL has been a hit on the festival circuit, debuting at Sundance, and winning the Midnight Audience Award at SXSW, the Jury Prize for First Feature at Fantasia, the Best Director award at Fantaspoa, and the Best Motion Picture Award at Sitges.

Watch the film now On Demand: Tucker & Dale vs Evil
Film Review
Two hillbillies are driving along the highway in their pick-up truck. An SUV full of college kids pulls up along side of them. The lurking gaze of hillbilly Dale (Tyler Labine) falls on them and with his beer in hand, unkept white-trashy appearance and unwavering gaze a small chill runs down your spine. Dale gives off the vibe of a would-be woodsman killer--and then you officially meet Dale, as well as his best buddy Tucker (Alan Tudyk). Tucker and Dale are anything and everything but horror-story-type killers. They are actually two simple sweet men on their way to their newly purchased fishing cabin on the lake in the Appalachian Mountains. Tucker & Dale vs. Evil is in fact a full of love parody of the oh so familiar horror motif where college kids going camping for a weekend where bad things happen, people die, and a murderous man is on the loose. As horror parodies go, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil is near genius.

The opening scene of Tucker & Dale vs. Evil may lead one to suspect this in fact a horror movie--and you would be correct in certain aspects. While the initial set-up sparks comedy, from the incredible duo of Alan Tudyk's Tucker and Tyler Labine's Dale, the creepy story around the campfire about the Memorial Day Massacre 20 years ago leads you to believe this may end up being a scary movie after all. You also realize at this point that the group of college kids will not make it out alive--or at least most of them. The only question is, "who is going to kill them if Tucker and Dale are harmless?"; answering this question is part of the fun for the viewer as the kids make a mess of things for themselves because of what they assume about Tucker and Dale. Never make assumptions in a horror movie, and never go running towards a woodchopper with the intention to kill the assumed killer...you may get chopped. Tucker & Dale vs. Evil never gets scary, although it is full of blood and guts and all things loved in a horror movie; it does get more funny as each moment passes and features an ending twist where the true hero's of the story make their mark, get the girl, and then go bowling.
Comedy Factor
From the first moment you meet Tucker and Dale, listen to their conversations about women, and witness a sad attempt by Dale to flirt with one there is no denying Tucker & Dale vs. Evil will have you laughing the whole way through. A fact made only more clear when they arrive at their fishing cabin, a place created specifically to look like a cabin a serial killer once occupied. From here the homages to the great horror movies are thrown at you one-by-one, resulting in hilarity at every turn for those who know their horror movies. Most notably recognizable are classic scenes, given slight twists for effect with Tucker and Dale, from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Halloween. Part of the fun of watching Tucker & Dale vs. Evil is picking out the references to other (actual) horror films.

The comedy does not end with the characters of Tucker and Dale or the onslaught of horror movie homages, the college kids through their actions prove their complete stupidity is funny all by itself. The main focus of the humor in Tucker & Dale vs. Evil is how the college kids assume Tucker and Dale are a couple inbred hillbillies who plan to murder their friend Allison (Katrina Bowden from the TV show "30 Rock") after they save her from drowning and take her to their cabin. The misunderstanding of the circumstances surrounding this lead to the group thinking they need to save her from these men; an act that gets them all into more trouble than not, and of course leads to many a gory death. Tucker & Dale vs. Evil could have been a random comedy playing with horror movie conventions for a good laugh; instead it is a fully functioning comedic horror movie that stands all on its own, and only becomes stronger because of its self conscience attitude towards horror movie history.

Comedy, Horror
Release Date
September 30, 2011
MPAA Rating
Running Time
89 minutes
Production Designer
Music Score