Tuesday, June 11, 2013

MOVIE OF THE WEEK: Tucker and Dale vs Evil

For various reasons I barely watched any movies this week, but thankfully I found a good one at the last minute - "Tucker and Dale vs Evil". This 2010 film tells the story of a pair of simple guys taking a vacation in the woods who encounter an unfortunate situation with some snobbish college kids. Due to their prejudices, said kids mistrust the harmless hillbillies (Tucker and Dale), thinking they are crazy murderers. One thing leads to another and they get into some unfortunate accidents.

Played as a horror spoof, it's quite a brilliant concept with the humour deriving from the consequences of silly miscommunication and sheer stupidity. For the most part, it lives up to its promise, delivering lots of gory fun. The script finds some clever beats along the way, without ever reaching greatness. I couldn't help feeling like the film would have benefited from being slightly more daring in its execution. It actually establishes some interesting themes about friendship, bigotry and general human behaviour but doesn't fully explore them. Much of that is due to some uneven acting from the group of college students. At times it seems like they struggled to understand the slightly ironic tone of the film. Particularly the group leader (played by Jesse Moss), who sometimes seemed to take the material too seriously. I felt like they needed to "go for broke" in the vein of other self-aware spoofs, but they seemed to lack the charisma to pull it off.

Tyler Labine and Alan Tudyk more than make up for these shortcomings though, as they brilliantly juxtapose the madness with their simple-minded earnestness. Early in the film when Dale marvels at the splendour of the obviously dilapidated vacation cabin, it's instantly clear why the spoilt students are the "Evil" in the title. It pays off later, as the subsequent horror porn relies on the audience's vilification of surprisingly typical preppy college students. Therein lies much of what's so clever about the concept, as much of it feels very plausible. Specifically, they meet their demise simply based on their inability to be open-minded, caring human beings.

Overall, it's a very entertaining film, despite being slight in its ambitions. All told, it's still got enough pathos and humour to be ultimately satisfying.


  1. Love this flick. I remember when the film was more or less done but couldn't get distribution or whatever. There were some crappy (but still funny) trailers online but nobody had any idea of when the film would come out. It was definitely worth the wait. Wouldn't mind seeing Tucker and Dale in another film.

  2. This movie is so insane haha! It's so entertaining but so stupid.
    Still, I enjoyed it a lot.