Tucker and Dale vs Evil – review

14 Apr

Movie posterI recently watched The Cabin in the Woods, and found it woefully disappointing after hearing everyone rave about it.  I wasn’t sure what to expect from it, but I had high expectations – Joss Whedon is normally completely on the ball with my sense of humour and I like most of the actors in it.  Now, don’t get me wrong, there were some really good parts but I came away thinking “Well, that was a load of nonsense”.  I think it was just too much of a deviation from the typical ‘cabin in the woods’ horror film for my liking – it just went too far into silly territory.

That said, I partly hold Tucker and Dale vs Evil for my disappointment.  I know these two films are entirely different but I was expecting Cabin in the Woods to be a bit more like Tucker and Dale.  I’ve seen it a couple of times – I’d never heard of it before, but it came up on Netflix and the lead actor is Alan Tudyk (Firefly, Dollhouse).  Watching ensued, of course, and I discovered that this is an absolute gem of a film.  It’s written and directed by Eli Craig (who’s also directed the upcoming Zombieland TV series).

Tucker and Dale are two mild-mannered hillbillies on their way to their newly acquired holiday cabin (which just happens to have been owned by some crazy killers 20 years previously).  On the way up the road they encounter the local sheriff (who tells them “Ain’t nothing up there but pain and suffering on a scale you can’t even imagine” – nice) and some college kids travelling to the same woods for some camping capers. The kids think Tucker and Dale are terrifying – which isn’t helped much by Dale’s failed attempt to chat-up the girls while holding a scythe and laughing hysterically.

Tucker and Dale are suitably impressed with their holiday home – thinking all the bones dangling from the roof are down to the previous owner being an archaeologist.  They get on with their vacation – beer and night fishing are first on the list.  Who knew some fishing would lead to such a terrible situation?  After a brief history lesson covering the killings in the woods 20 years ago from Chad (the alpha male of the group), the kids go out night swimming.  Off on her own, one girl slips on a rock and almost drowns – Tucker and Dale dutifully rescue her, but their cries of “We got your friend!” are slightly misinterpreted and just lead to the kids running for their lives.  Baffled by this, the hillbillies take her home and look after her.

Regroup

Meanwhile, the kids regroup and mount an attack on the cabin to try to ‘rescue’ their friend, Alison.  This is no ordinary horror film though, and this obviously leads to them killing themselves in many weird and wonderful (and laugh-out-loud funny) manners while scaring the bejesus out of Tucker and Dale.  There’s a hilarious conversation where Tucker  tries to explain what’s happening: “I know what this is…it’s a suicide pact – these kids are coming out here and killing themselves all around the woods.  We have got to hide all the sharp objects!”  Meanwhile, Alison remains pretty oblivious to this whole misunderstanding until the situation has gone on too long to be easily reversed.  There’s not much else I can say about the plot without giving away too much – and since I’m going to recommend that you all watch this, I don’t want to spoil it.

Bee chase

There are so many high points in this film it’s difficult to list them – the chainsaw/bee chase sequence is probably my favourite however – it’s utterly hilarious!  Frankly, if that description hasn’t sold it for you already then you might as well just stop reading right here.  The acting is great – the main characters are all flawless (including the overacting in some cases).  On top of that, the writing is great and the casting (of the main characters, certainly) is spot-on – I suppose the casting of the kids is pretty on-par with the genre too, since they’re all totally pretty forgettable.  The effects are also brilliant – as you’d expect given this isn’t exactly a low-budget film by any means.  The gore factor is pretty decent – there’s enough to make a wimp like myself do the old “cover the face” maneuver – they don’t shy away from showing the follow through of a flymo to the face, for example.

Ultimately though, the film’s winning point is the humour – this film is laugh out loud funny.  It’s a brilliant twist on the stereotypical hillbilly horror film – done really well.  I don’t think I would change a thing about it.  For fans of horror films or anyone with a black sense of humour it’s a must-watch.

What are you still here for?  Go check it out!

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One Response to “Tucker and Dale vs Evil – review”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. And there was much rejoicing! | Two Geeks, One Blog - April 2, 2014

    […] At a recent Horror magazine festival (Horrorhound Weekend), Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine let slip that there will be a sequel to everyone’s favourite creepy-cabin-in-the-woods horror spoof – Tucker and Dale Vs Evil (read our review here). […]

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