Tucker & Dale vs. Evil is the hilarious story of two best friends that set out to restore a cabin in the woods but wind up getting more than they bargained for when they encounter the forces of unspeakable evil and a group of college friends while at work on their renovations.
This 2010 film was on numerous best of lists in the year of its release, which came as no surprise to this critic. It’s an exceptional horror comedy that fires on all four cylinders.
There aren’t a lot of big names in Tucker & Dale vs. Evil but Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine are perfectly cast as the titular characters. It’s unfathomable to imagine anyone else in their roles which is always a good indication that the film was well cast. They are so likable that the viewer can’t help but be drawn to them. The pair is completely inept and totally clueless but what they lack in smarts, they make up for in heart. Their performances, as well as those turned in by the supporting cast are highly memorable. The acting is particularly good for a lower budget, independent production.
Tucker & Dale vs. Evil is co-written and directed by Eli Craig in his feature film directorial debut. Both the script and Craig’s direction are impressive. The dialogue is witty and the onscreen dynamic between cast members is exceptional. The concept behind the film is really fresh and totally original. It incorporates elements of parody and cleverly satirizes the horror genre while simultaneously functioning as a brilliantly executed horror film.
The film is almost perfectly paced. The picture offers equal parts horror and comedy and at perfectly timed intervals. The viewer never has a chance to get bored or lose interest in the storyline.
Tucker & Dale vs. Evil pokes fun at the horror genre, much in the same way as Cabin in the Woods did several years later. Tucker & Dale has a wicked sense of humor and a perfectly timed sarcastic sensibility about it. The film satirizes cabin in the woods films, hillbilly horror, slasher films, and more. It never talks down to its audience, though; it always assumes they are in on the joke.
The makeup effects are fantastic. There is an exceptional amount of bloodshed and it’s as gratuitous as can be. The deaths are imaginative and hilarious. There are copious amounts of stage blood used. The body count is pretty high. Between the flashback sequences and the way that the story unfolds, there are ample onscreen deaths.
If you haven’t seen Tucker & Dale vs. Evil you should absolutely check it out. It is equal parts hilarious and gory; the rare film that walks the line between horror and comedy and does justice to both. As of this posting, it is available to stream on Netflix, so by all means, give it a look if you haven’t already. There is reportedly a sequel in the works, so keep an eye out for that as well.
Director(s): Eli Craig
Writer(s): Morgan Jurgenson, Eli Craig
Stars: Alan Tudyk, Tyler Labine
Studio/ Production Co: Eden Rock Medi, Magnet Releasing
Length: 89 Minutes
Sub-Genre: Backwoods Slasher