Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil (2010)

“Tucker and Dale vs. Evil” is a willfully ridiculous, ridiculously bloody, balls-out and slightly touching film that allows the hillbillies to be the heroes for a change.

Tucker and Dale, far from the chainsaw-wielding, pig-raping rednecks we have come to expect from horror movies and West Virginia jokes, are just trying to have a nice time at their vacation home when out of the blue come a group of college kids who also want to have a nice time… but quickly become an incompetent lynch-mob over a series of misunderstandings.

The progression of the plot is super simple — somehow, under various circumstances, these doltheads keep killing themselves all around Tucker and Dale’s vacation home. Meanwhile, lovelorn Dale (Tyler Labine) harbors a crush on one of the college girls (Katrina Bowden,) while Tucker (Firefly’s Alan Tudyk) encourages him to believe in himself.

What really matters here are the jokes, delivered steadily and evoking a lot of laughs. The dialogue is one of the funniest in recent indie horror-comedies. The kills are brilliant in their own way, straining credulity to the extreme while still remaining hilarious and entertaining.

I don’t know how they did it, but I actually found the romance between bearish, backwoods boy Dale and slim, blonde college student Alison (Bowden) to be believable in the context of the movie. Anyway, it’s no less plausible than the college students somehow killing themselves, whether by fire, woodchipper (shades of “Fargo”) or tree branch (WTF?!)

“Tucker and Dale vs. Evil” has a big, warm, squishy heart at the middle of it, for all its guts and gore. It also provides a valuable message about not making snap judgments about people, without making the audience slog through the after-school special shit.

Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine give hilarious performances as the two harmless hillbillies at the center of the story, while Katrina Bowden is fittingly likable as the college girl that Dale falls head over heels for. The ending gets a little overly silly, but the movie will have won your heart long beforehand. “Tucker and Dale vs. Evil” is a awesome entry into the horror/comedy genre.

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