Title: Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil
Director: Eli Craig
Actor(s): Alan Tudyk, Tyler Labine
Runtime: 1 hour 26 minutes
Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil is one of my favorite horror-comedies of all time and is a movie I’ve seen multiple, multiple times. It’s great if you just want to laugh and want a pick-me-up after a crappy day or need a palate cleanser after watching something dark and depressing. It takes a simple premise that could have made it a one-joke movie but the dialogue and the characters make it something really special.
Amiable hillbillies Tucker (Alan Tudyk, one of my favorite character actors who also played my favorite character on the short-lived show Firefly) and Dale (Tyler Labine) are in over their heads when a group of college kids mistake their social ineptitude for murderous intentions. Staying at their new vacation home to drink beer, fish, and generally have a good time, the two are rudely interrupted by the kids and the situation gets worse when one of the girls, Allison, (Katrina Bowden) hits her head and they take her to their cabin. The deaths of the college students as they ‘fight back’ against a non-existent threat are over-the-top, gory, and hilarious. Alpha-hole Chad (Jesse Moss) worsens the situation with his deep-rooted hatred of rednecks and turns his unwanted attentions to Allison.
The plot of this movie, on its own, is not great but the writing and the comedic timing of the actors are terrific. Dale is such a sweetheart and Alan Tudyk is awesome as his acerbic but caring best friend. The film messes with the tropes of the slasher film (like The Cabin in the Woods) and is surprisingly sweet in the process, showing the perils of badly misinterpreting a situation and prejudging those who are different from you.
Jesse Moss as the antagonist is probably the main weak spot in the film, but his over-the-top performance also somewhat matches the overall tone. The carnage is more goofy than gruesome and people who don’t like the horror genre may still enjoy the mix of odd-couple humor and the satire of slasher films. I also liked the director’s later film Little Evil, although it doesn’t come close to this one in quality or humor.