This movie has a title that would make almost anybody roll their eyes. It has a poster that would make everyone walk right past it in a video store...if video stores still existed. It's a horror movie about a group of college kids that go for a vacation in the West Virginia wilderness (like no college kids ever do) and have a bloody run-in with two hillbillies that are in a creepy old cabin in the middle of nowhere. The only difference is that the two hillbillies are just trying to mind their own business and be helpful but the college kids think they're psycho killers so they try to kill them. It's a clever little twist that makes Tucker and Dale vs. Evil a shockingly fun movie.
Although most of the cast if padded with talentless, barely attractive wannabes, the three main characters are recognizable faces. The damsel "in distress" is played by Katrina Bowden who's the goddess from NBC's 30 Rock and Sex Drive. The real stars are Alan Tudyk (Death at a Funeral, Knocked Up) and Tyler Labine (CW's Reaper, Rise of the Planet of the Apes) who are really talented, really funny character actors that have yet to disappoint in a performance. It's a good thing they're so good because they carry the movie on their shoulders alone.
I gotta give credit where it's due though and that's to first-time director/writer Eli Craig. I really appreciate movies that are horror films in the true sense of the word but flip the genre on its head to be funny and do it without making fun of it. Other films that have pulled that off are Behind the Mask and more famously, Shaun of the Dead. Tucker and Dale vs. Evil pokes fun at the slasher genre a little more than the other two but it still delivers on the gore. Impressive for a movie that was made with a crazy, small budget.
This isn't a laugh-a-minute movie that keeps you entertained the whole (pathetic) 88 minutes. It does drag at parts and it's sadly not above a dick joke here and there. But overall it's a decent horror comedy that takes a tired concept and twists it just a bit. It's almost like Halloween if instead, Michael Myers was just a nice guy trying to help teenagers to help him take the mask off, which they see as a threat so they try to kill him. That's the plot and it works. Sure it's one long joke and yes it does get stretched thin, but it's nice to see someone at least taking a risk and creating something original in the horror genre for once.
Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (Rated R)
Gavin Grade: B