For anyone, anywhere who relishes a hack-and-stack about nitwit teens and disastrous camping trips, this one’s your Apocalypse Now.
Somehow, against all odds, Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil subverts the horror trope of kids-as-kindling and the vicious hillbillies who stalk them, and manages to be funny and charming, while still delivering the gory goodies
As you’ve no doubt heard, the premise depicts Tucker (Alan Tudyk from Firefly) and Dale (Tyler Labine) as virtuous and kindly rural types who want nothing more than to fix up a little cabin in the woods so they can have a getaway for their fishing and beer-drinking weekends.
Enter a carload of snotty college students led by paranoid and delusional Chad (Jesse Moss), who has the hots for sweet Allison (Katrina Bowden), and the stage is set for a riotous epic of blood, lethal misunderstandings, and even a sweet, timid romance. Surprise!
In lesser hands, this might have turned into a gimmicky, unfunny satire (see the Scary Movie franchise), but writer/director Eli Craig really digs deep to bring out the good-natured decency of the titular hillbillies, even while splashing the screen with enough viscera to appease hardcore genre hounds.
Tudyk and Labine are funny and genuine as virtual innocents who have no idea why these preppy campers are freaking out and trying to kill each other—especially after they go to all the trouble of rescuing their friend Allison from drowning.
What the hell’s wrong with kids today? As someone who generally roots for the killer in these films (Look, I hate teenagers!), Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil is a welcome and diverting variation on a theme.