Tucker and Dale vs Evil  (2010)

I'm a fan of Hitchcock movies. He was a master of suspense, but also a master of putting people in situations that in theory were easy to escape if they just immediately went to the authorities instead of trying to fix it themselves. The fix ends up making things worse, then they attempt to fix that secondary problem which only leads to a tertiary problem, and things snowball from there. "Tucker and Dale vs Evil" is hillbilly Hitchcock.

A group of sexy college kids decide to spend Memorial Day weekend camping out. Deep in the woods of West Virginia, they meet up with some cliched mountain men, muddy overalls, flannel shirts, trucker hats, rusted pickup truck, the whole nine. Despite their look, Tucker and Dale are just average dudes, living their best life with what they were dealt. The college kids decide to just books by their cover, and are skeeved out.

Later that night, the kids tell a horror story about murderous hicks that slaughtered a group of kids in that same area. To ease the tension, they decide to go for a swim, coincidentally in the same lake where Tucker and Dale are fishing. A quick moment of misunderstanding leaves the hicks in care of one of the girls, and the rest of the group fearing that she's been abducted.

Everything from there just gets crazier and bloodier and more ludicrous. Tucker and Dale realize things look bad and they can't just call the cops to try to calmly explain why dead bodies are scattered around their property, so they keep trying to clean up their own mess. The kids keep dying in more and more outrageous ways, pushing the lines of believability but just real enough to say "well, I guess that could happen."

Despite being a good combination of gory and goofy, something never felt right. I'm not sure if it was the pacing or what, but things just never felt comfortable. It might have been a directorial choice to keep the audience uneasy, just like the characters were, but something just bugged me the whole time. I love Alan Tudyk (Tucker), and Tyler Labine was solid as Dale. The acting from the college kids was unimpressive, but I get that they were playing stereotypes like the douche-frat-bro, the princess, the surprisingly-smart-babe, and the black guy. They may have fared better using a smaller group of teens, but then you wouldn't have quite as many fun deaths. All these ups and downs kept "Tucker and Dale vs Evil" in the realm of good-but-not-real-good movies.

 [Celluloid Hero] gives "Tucker and Dale vs Evil" a 6 out of 10.

 

 

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