Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (2010)
Director(s): Eli Craig
Writer(s): Eli Craig, Morgan Jurgenson
Starring: Tyler Labine, Alan Tudyk, Katrina Bowden
Let’s have a couple laughs before the end of the year folks!
There has always been a strong bond between the genres of horror and comedy. To me, they’re like the buddy – cop team up of the movie genres, complete opposites in upbringing, style and execution but once they get together, all odds are defied and everyone comes out looking like a winner. There’s something about laughing right before or after a scene of terror and/or gore that eases the tension of the horror but also accentuates whatever funny thing was said or done because the audience is so relieved that there was any humor to come out of the scene in the first place. Now, there are plenty of legendary horror flicks that associate dark humor into their films but at their core, they are still a horror movie that wants to sprinkle some humor in order to relax the audience…right before jolting them with another scene of terror! Finding comedic films that sprinkle in genuine horror however, is much trickier because the pendulum between comedy and horror is a fickle one where once a movie becomes too comedic, you don’t take the horror nearly as seriously for the rest of the flick, thus thrusting the movie directly to being a legitimate comedy or reach camp/ cult status.
Comedic horror films that truly attempt to stay true to both genres that one can enjoy (not on an ironic level you damn hipsters) are fleeting gems in the horror genre and my one of my recent favorites strikes a great balance between clever laughs and entertaining gore/suspense! What’s great about Tucker and Dale vs. Evil is how the film feels like it sets out to be a horror movie. You can tell by the kinds of kills and level of gore the director Eli Craig wanted for this movie and the plot to the movie itself takes the comedic idea of mistaken identity and weaves it seamlessly into the world of horror. This movie is clearly a nod to the recent uprising of what is referred to as Hillbilly/Redneck Horror that usually involves mutated and/or psychotic families of the hillbilly or redneck variety that terrorize their victims for prolonged periods of time. The most famous of this sub – genre would definitely be The Texas Chainsaw Massacre but the re – make of this legendary flick in 2003 set a precedent for a flurry of films to once again make this sub – genre relevant. Films such as Wrong Turn and Wolf Creek shocked audiences with its form of brutality and torture but still managed to keep it suspenseful and most importantly entertaining. What makes Tucker and Dale vs. Evil so endearing is how it was able to take something so raw and include genuine comedic wit to both its plot and script to the point where the horror is now seen through a different point of view, which results in pure entertainment.
The film is seen from two points of view; one being the main characters, Tucker (Alan Tudyk) and Dale (Tyler Labine) who are hillbilly pals that are headed to their cabin for a relaxing time and the other being a group of teenagers who view Tucker and Dale as dangerous killers due to a mix of unfair profiling and unfortunate events. Comedic shenanigans ensue as the two points of view are constantly in a flux of confusion and therefore, creating more fear which always leads to bad decisions. In the midst of all the cleverness, the movie was successful in creating characters that are actually likeable, almost to the point where you feel bad for Tucker and Dale throughout the movie due to their mistaken identity. The kills in the movie are such a great nod to the hillbilly/redneck horror films that the amount of gore involved make you wince but then you immediately realize the plot is only getting thicker and thus, more funny/entertaining.
When you’re gathered around loved ones this holiday season and are probably bored off your keister, make a bold suggestion to pop in (or stream) this horror comedy flick that will entertain the crowd on not one, but TWO levels! It’s a gift for all!
Thanks to all the FEARtastic FREAKS for a wonderful year full of great horror goodness. It’s always good to reminisce about great horror flicks of the anthology, suspense, cult, gore, foreign, action, Sci – Fi, classic …wait, what the heck was I talking about again? Oh well, just enjoy this picture with me meeting one of my heroes! See you in 2016!
Life is FAR more interesting when we take interest in things that scare us.