Sundance Film Festival Review: Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil

by Whitney Borup

“Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil” has everything you could want in a good slasher film: gruesome deaths, insane back stories, hot blonde babes, and big boobies. But “Tucker and Dale” is a little more than a good, conventional slasher film; it’s also a hilarious comedy of errors.

Tucker and his best friend Dale are just a couple of hillbillies trying to have fun on vacation. Staying in their newly purchased summer home – which is a creepy, deteriorating cabin in the woods – they have the weekend mapped out for drinkin’ PBRs and fishin’. Unfortunately for Tucker and Dale, they’re not the only ones in these here woods. After a series of Moliere-style misunderstandings, Tucker and Dale become the victims of a bunch of college kids set on misguided revenge.

The clear villains in the film are the frat and sorority house douche bags who are quick to judge any country bumpkin they see. They dress for camping in the style we’re used to seeing in this kind of film: tiny white tank tops, short cutoffs, and muscle shirts. Of course one of them is named “Chad” and of course all the trouble starts when they decide to go skinny-dipping. As an audience, we are immediately aligned with the hillbillies, who, despite their dirty flannel and overalls, appear to be much smarter and are certainly much nicer to each other.

Every gruesome death scene is clever and delightful (and, don’t worry, they start off with a lot of college kids to kill off!), and in a film that could have easily gotten heavy-handed, “Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil” remains light hearted throughout. This isn’t a nail biter. You’re more likely to say “awwww” than “AHHH!” and that’s why it works as a great horror-comedy.

Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil

Directed and Written: Eli Craig
Starring: Tyler Labine, Alan Tudyk, Katrina Bowden
Canada, 86 min.

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