Saturday, October 9, 2010

Tucker & Dale vs Evil (2010)

Ah! Finally! The movie with one of my favorite trailers but apparently non-existent distribution deal played here! Thanks, Terrorthon! Plus I got to see a midnight showing, which is a rarity in the curfew-happy Boston area. Tucker & Dale vs Evil is a send-up of those isolated-cabin-set slasher movies that turns against its stupid college kid victims to come out in favor of the "hillbilly killers". Best friends Tucker (Alan Tudyk) and Dale (Tyler Labine) drive up to their recently-purchased woodland cabin for a weekend, with plans to renovate, fish, and drink.

A group of jerk college students drive to a nearby campsite with plans to skinny dip, get frisky, and drink, because for some reason in this universe kids will voluntarily go camping. Outdoors. With no internet. Ew. They soon assume that Tucker and Dale are crazy killers because they're mad prejudiced and also because Allison (Katrina Bowden), one of their group, is seen being dragged away unconscious by the fishermen. Turns out she just hit her head and Tucker and Dale want to help her out, but her friends enact a weird revenge scheme that culminates in a lot of accidental suicides, much to our heroes' dismay.

Well, I haven't actually seen any of the slasher films this is referencing, but it turns out that doesn't really matter, because this movie is mad awesome by itself. The script is hilarious and smart, the direction is clever and well-paced, and the performances are wonderful and, the cases of the two male leads, utterly endearing. I absolutely love Alan Tudyk and it was so great to see him in a big role showing off how versatile he really is. I always enjoyed Tyler Labine in Reaper and he is adorable here as the clueless romantic leading man. These guys are excellent together. Katrina Bowden (who totally went to my high school's rival school, oooo) is cute as the only semi-sensible one in her group of friends, and her wannabe psychiatrist scene is very silly. Also this happens, if that's your thing.

I just want to keep saying good things about this movie! The story accurately captures how goddamn stupid college kids are, which I appreciated. (Screw those guys.) I didn't always know the specific films it was referencing but it's broad enough in its parody that I could always appreciate the jokes, especially since slasher movie cliches are a familiar part of popular culture by now. The many gruesome deaths are done really well- super gross but still very funny. All in all Tucker & Dale is a film pumped with enough enthusiasm and fun to make for a decidedly enjoyable moviegoing experience. My main complaint is probably that there isn't enough Alan Tudyk (Labine becomes the main hero), and the ending drags ever so slightly. Otherwise: Awesome.

If you can catch a screening, pleeeease do.


Pair This Movie With: I think Hot Fuzz would make a great double feature, as another funny genre parody with a lot of inventive death scenes and a strong male friendship at its center.