Tucker & Dale vs. Evil seems like nothing new. It could be the typical hillbilly slasher flick, involving a deranged lunatic who murders unsuspecting victims for pleasure. No matter how the film starts, these flicks all end the same, with each death more gruesome than the last.
Now, what if all the dismembered and disfigured bodies were just the result of one colossal misunderstanding? This is the concept behind Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, director Eli Craig’s hilariously bloody film.
The movie stars Alan Tudyk (Transformers: Dark of the Moon) and Tyler Labine (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) as Tucker and Dale, respectively, two best friends on vacation who find themselves caught in a misconstrued series of events involving a group of camping college students. As the level of miscommunication increases, so does the death toll.
The premise certainly has potential, but does newcomer Craig deliver in this horror comedy?
In a word, yes. Craig’s direction in this film is clear and well executed. He understands the horror genre’s inherent staleness, defined by years of overused stereotypes and unoriginal plotlines. Luckily for audiences, Craig uses this knowledge to his advantage. The film barrels through cliché after cliché in a way that only adds to the absurd nature of the film. At 90 minutes long, it is excellently paced, never seems boring and provides a lot of laughs.
Yet, what the film does well in some parts, it struggles with in others. Tucker and Dale are appropriately endearing as well-intentioned hillbillies. The same cannot be said for their counterparts, the college kids. Although it is wildly entertaining to watch the degree of stupidity these kids display, their motivation is ultimately baseless. They seem to function as an indistinguishable unit, which is fine considering they exist solely to convey the over-the-top humor of the film.
While Tucker & Dale vs. Evil can be classified as a comedy, it does contain a great deal of gore to supply the thrills. It’s not for the faint of heart, as some scenes are just as bloody as the Scream or The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Still, the movie shines brightest during its funny moments.
VERDICT: Tucker & Dale vs. Evil is a gory comedy that delivers a steady stream of outrageous entertainment.