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Tucker & Dale vs. Evil
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Tucker and Dale are two best friends on vacation at their dilapidated mountain house, who are mistaken for murderous backwoods hillbillies by a group of obnoxious, preppy college kids. When one of the students gets separated from her friends, the boys try to lend a hand, but as the misunderstanding grows, so does the body count.
Slapdash Scary Movie cycle aside, the slasher genre has proven fairly resistant to effective satire, mainly because the movies themselves already go so far over the top. (After Jason goes to space, where else can you possibly go?) Arriving amidst some monster film festival buzz, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil scores big laughs by slyly inverting the formula, casting the standard backwoods maniacs as bewildered everymen surrounded by accident-prone teens. While it may basically be a one-joke movie, it sustains that joke for a remarkably long time. Kicking off with an effective Blair Witch jab, the story follows Tucker (Alan Tudyk) and Dale (Tyler Labine), two good-natured good ol' boys with aims of fixing up their rickety cabin in the woods into a vacation home. Before they've emptied their first six-pack, they find themselves besieged by a group of stereotypical college kids who start dying in increasingly bizarre ways around them. As the bodies stack like cordwood, the duo's obliviousness only grows. First-time director-cowriter Eli Craig clearly knows his subject material well, trotting out the skinny-dipping coeds and conveniently placed sharp implements with relish, particularly with a wood chipper that really should have received a supporting actor credit. Clever as the concept is, though, it wouldn't stretch nearly as far without the performances, most notably Labine as a Bigfootish idiot savant and 30 Rock's Katrina Bowden as a Final Girl fully aware of the situation's absurdity. Although the invention may sputter at times, Tucker & Dale provides enough amiable chuckles and ridiculous gore to satisfy even the snootiest genre fan. For the sequel, can we get them near a rocket? --Andrew Wright
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The only thing I'd ever seen Tyler Labine in before was a small bit part in Zack And Miri Make A Porno (Hug it, chug it, football!), and he was most definitely worthy of carrying the lead role as Dale, the sometimes-bumbling, always-good-hearted country boy who just wants to relax with his best friend Tucker (Alan Tudyk) in their new fixer-upper house by the lake. Katrina Bowden was also refreshingly entertaining as Allison, playing a character that's a far cry from her best known role as the ditzy Cerie in "30 Rock."
This movie still had plenty of gore, but it was done in a very humorous and campy manner, poking fun at several horror cliches and running headlong into others. The comedy aspect persists throughout, and even the most gruesome of deaths will have you doubled-over with laughter thanks to the context of the scenarios.
Somewhat surprisingly, the story line itself was pretty solid in this film, too. There's a reason behind all the madness and some great plot twists that kept me on my toes right up until the very end.
This is a must-see for any fans of both comedy and horror, as the film does a great job of having fun with the latter while still keeping the laughs coming. But even if you're not a horror fan, I'd still highly recommend this movie for the number of great laughs and the likeable characters. Yes, there's a fair bit of blood and a few over the top deaths, but this film truly is a comedy at heart and it succeeds in representing that genre with flying colors.
Anyone familiar with horror movies, especially of the "a group of kids go into the woods..." variety, will see references to classic elements from favorite films - the haunted-looking cabin in the woods, the use of certain power and hand tools, creepy townsfolk, etc. But the director does a great job of helping the audience to see both the frightening and the ordinary in each of those scenarios. Is the cabin creepy, or just a DIY project away from a great vacation home? Is the local yokel whose laugh makes your skin crawl actually dangerous, or just nervous around pretty girls? and so on.
Likable lead roles and appropriately two-dimensional secondary characters are ably portrayed by the cast, although the rapport between Tucker (Alan Tudyk) and Dale (Tyler Labine) is truly exceptional and a key reason why the movie works so well. I giggled through most of the movie, well, when I wasn't gagging over some of the worst bloodshed, and was delighted by the way the movie both followed established horror "rules" and also turned the worst cliches on their ears. This is a great movie - something I'd consider to be (at last!) a worthy American response to Shaun of the Dead.
There are things in this world you should never laugh at but sometimes you just can't help it. A Series of Unfortunate Events can’t touch this either.
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Tyler Labine is funnier than I would have guessed, given his...Read more