Movie Rewind: TUCKER & DALE VS. EVIL (2011)

Movie Rewind: TUCKER & DALE VS. EVIL (2011)

Director: Eli Craig
Starring: Tyler Labine, Alan Tudyk, Katrina Bowden, Jesse Moss

Tucker (Tudyk) and Dale (Labine) are two simple guys headed up to a cabin (aka vacation home) to do some fishing. They pop open a few beers in their truck to celebrate the good life. Their innocence and stupidity leads to a stream of unfortunate events. To start, their unkempt hillbilly appearance at a gas station scares off a group of college friends going to their cabin. Dale tries to turn on the charm to the ladies of the group, but he inevitably scares them off. They pull up to the cabin, and it is about as dilapidated as it gets. Always looking at the positive side, they just call it a “fixer-up” and continue on in their fun. They also happen to ignore all of the newspaper clippings hanging up regarding a brutal massacre of a bunch of campers years ago.

This same scary story is also told by the college friends around a camp fire. Later that night they all go for a swim in the same area Tucker and Dale are doing some late-night fishing. Tucker and Dale notice Allison (Bowden) stripping as she prepares to jump in the water. They get too excited and start causing a commotion. She hears them lurking in the water, screams, and slips off the rock. Tucker and Dale go and try to rescue her, but Allison’s group hears them say “We’ve got your friend” and think the dimwitted hillbillies are kidnapping her. That is by no means their intention. They are simply taking her back to their cabin to rest and heal. Gee, aren’t they nice!

The next morning Allison wakes up and realizes she has not been kidnapped. Dale makes her a breakfast of bacon and eggs and a quick game of Trivia Pursuit ensues. Her friends sneak up to the cabin in an attempt to rescue her but are all too scared to go in based on the rundown appearance. Who knows what could be lurking inside? Each of Allison’s friends start meeting their untimely and gruesome deaths in their attempt to rescue her, but their deaths are not at the hands of Tucker and Dale. It appears bad luck and misfortune keep following Tucker and Dale as they are being mistaken for the deaths of these college kids. Unfortunately they are too stupid to know how to get out of this sticky situation they have gotten themselves in.

The premise of a group of college aged folks going to a deserted cabin in the woods is about as old of a plot device as it gets when it comes to horror movies. If filmmakers are going to keep using this premise for the movies, they better come up with an original spin or twist to keep their movie fresh or original. Low and behold, writer/director Eli Craig has taken a satirical approach that is fresh and funny, yet still full of blood and gore spraying all over our victim’s faces. He embraces these standard characters like the hillbilly idiots, the blonde, and the tough guy but shines a different perspective on them. Instead of seeing the film through the eyes of the victims, Craig tells the story through the eyes of the two buffoons who are mistaken to be the killers. Like Scream before it, this “horror” movie relies on plenty of laughs throughout using some of the oldest forms of physical comedy as the gags. This time around there is deadly consequences instead of a simple bump on the head. Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil would be a great starter for any scary movie marathon. It’s bloody enough for your true scary movie fans without being too gruesome or shocking for anyone with a queasy stomach.

RATING: *** 1/2 (3.5 out of 5 stars)

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