Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (2011)

Cute, low-key horror-comedy about duo of well-meaning, but buffoonish rednecks on vacation who are vilified, demonized, and, indirectly, tortured by a nearby group of teens. The central joke of the piece is a riff on Deliverance; because Tucker and Dale fit the image of inbred, angsty jungle folk, the teens are so scared for their lives that they, in turn, go about putting themselves in actual danger. There is not much more in terms of plot, save for a cute, tenuous romance with Tucker and one of the teens, so I will not ruin any of the gags, plot twists, or death scenes(!) that make this quite a fun watch for horror buffs. I will say that as the titular duo, Reaper's Tyler Labine and Alan mothafreaking Tudyk are absolutely sweet, well-rendered, and hilarious; if you did not buy the well-meaning sincerity of their rough-around-the-edges characters, the entire film would fall apart. Katrina Bowden, the resident "hottie" of 30 Rock, also warrants mention for playing it straight and irony-free (unlike on 30 Rock) as the love interest; in a nice spin on the typical horror lead role, she is separate from her friends in her understanding that there is NO threat, as opposed to her being the savvy survivalist a la Jamie Lee Curtis or Neve Campbell. The movie has a sort of half-indie, half-DTV feel to it, sort of like David Arquette's similar, but more freakish The Tripper, but it only serves to highlight the absurd and over-the-top tone of the film; a big-budget sheen on this one, along with bigger names in the starring roles, would have taken the piss out of the whole thing. I am not saying that this is Shaun of the Dead, or even Cannibal: The Musical, but it is a fun, diverting flick that tickles its core audience (read: horror fans) to the bone.

Recommended for savvy horror fans, specifically those familiar with the subgenre of films like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Wrong Turn, and The Hills Have Eyes. There is a cuteness and sincerity on display here that elevates it above purely comical exercises like The Tripper

P.S. There is a tacked-on, probably reshot ending that is hokey and doesn't really fit with the rest of the film, but it does keep the tone from seesawing completely over to one side of the horror-comedy balance.

No comments:

Post a Comment