Retro Review: Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil
Tucker and Dale were just minding their own business, working on their vacation home, when all of a sudden a group of teenagers start dropping dead all around them. Soon they have to start fighting for their lives. And all of this is happening just because Dale is little uncomfortable around women.
With that title you’d think this is some sort of zombie comedy about a couple of silly dudes fighting zombies and/or monsters. But Tucker & Dale vs. Evilturns out be something a little more clever and original. The whole plot is based on a series of misunderstandings which cleverly plays with people’s prejudices, how college kids look at hillbillies and vice versa. This film has a very morbid sense of humor but it works as it goes suitably far enough with the premise and doesn’t hold back. People die in nasty ways in this movie but it’s still funny as hell.
Firefly’s Alan Tudyk and especially Tyler Labine make a great duo as Tucker and Dale, respectively, and a large part of the film’s success owes to their loveable portrayal of two dim-witted hillbillies, they get the comic timing just right and bring a touch of pathos into their characters, never lapsing into silly caricature. The rest of the cast ain’t bad either but no one else stands out. But it’s nice to see a horror comedy like this where the acting is actually pretty competent.
The movie largely coasts on it’s wonderfully silly premise and keeps you laughing throughout. It’s never too dumb and doesn’t insult your intelligence. On the other hand it still is a bit thin. The premise is simple and the movie just barely sustains it’s brief, 80 minute running time. It feel’s a bit like it’s stretching things at time, the plotting is sometimes too obviously contrived with characters occasionally behaving a little too stupidly just so the plot can move forward. Characters sometimes service the plot rather than the other way around. This movie might have possibly worked better as a short. At 30 minutes it could have been brilliant while at 80 minutes it’s just good, solid fun but not really a classic.
Final Verdict: Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil is good, silly fun. It’s got great performances from its two leads and a clever premise which it does some nifty things with and keeps you laughing throughout. But it’s also a little thin and contrived and feels a little bloated even at 80 minutes.