Thursday, April 19, 2012

Mini movie review: Tucker and Dale vs. Evil

I find it oddly synchronous that I would watch Tucker and Dale vs. Evil right after having watched The Cabin in the Woods.  They're both horror movies (or, "horror" movies) that put a spin onto the classic horror tropes.  TCitW is bigger budget, better acted and smarter; Tucker and Dale is still pretty fun.

There's this bunch of privileged college kids, you see, heading out into the wilds of West Virginia - hillbilly territory - for a weekend of camping, skinny-dipping and hijinks.  On the way, they stop at a hole of a gas station which is staffed by a scarcely-toothed hick (at this point I laughed because the movies were right synced up with each other at this point).  While the college kids stock up on beer and bug spray, two local yokels are loading up their pick-up truck with all kinds of ominous items: chainsaws, rope, gasoline, chainfalls, pickaxes, hatchets, a wood chipper.  These two are the titular Tucker and Dale, played by Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine respectively, and contrary to appearances and the snap judgments the college kids make, they are very nice fellows.  Tucker has just bought a cabin out in the woods - his very own vacation home - and they are headed out there to fix 'er up.

Of course the hillbillies and the college kids cross paths again: Tucker and Dale save one of the girls from drowning and the other kids immediately assume the worst, mounting an attack to rescue their friend.  It all goes terribly wrong as the college kids end up impaling themselves on sticks, falling into the wood chipper, shooting themselves in the face, etc., etc., as poor Tucker and Dale watch in bewilderment.  There's a moral about judging books by their covers, and one of the college kids turns out to be an actual psycho, and Dale gets both some self esteem and the final girl at the end.  It's all silly, foolish, gory fun, and not too long at 86 minutes.  A very minor quibble: Alan Tudyk's teeth were WAY too white and straight for him to pull off hillbilly (and his accent kept fading in and out).

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