Friday, October 21, 2016

31 Days of Horror: TUCKER & DALE VS. EVIL (2010)

Welcome horror fans, to Day 21 of the 31 DAYS OF HORROR!  We are back with another film in our lead up to Halloween, and today we will be reviewing Eli Craig's 2010 horror comedy... TUCKER & DALE VS. EVIL.  Enjoy!

I still remember the first time I saw Tucker & Dale vs. Evil. I wasn’t a huge horror fan at the time. A burning fever had knocked me flat on my back for a week and, towards the end of that miserable week, I decided to binge watch movies that looked dumb. I watched Tucker & Dale completely expecting to hate it. Instead, I finished  it. . . and watched it again immediately. I watched it four times that first month and every time, I laughed until I cried.

Tucker & Dale vs. Evil plays with horror tropes, casting Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine as two good-hearted, moderately incompetent country boys out on vacation fixing up their vacation cabin. There they encounter a group of college students who instantly fear the two hillbillies. Tensions rise when Katrina Bowden’s character, Allison is saved by Tucker and Dale in a way that resembles a kidnapping. Thus begins a series of unfortunate events that all culminate in the grisly deaths of the college students as they try to “save” their friend.

As a horror movie, Tucker & Dale succeeds to a level that I did not expect. Genuine moments of tension exist, despite the ridiculous circumstances. Moments of comedy are interspersed with dimly-shot scenes that both embrace and subvert the “teenagers trapped in the woods” horror-style. As a comedy, this film genuinely excels as a ludicrously entertaining series of events unfold around the clueless eyes of Tucker and Dale. Laugh out loud moments come again and again, enough to keep viewers engaged and entertained.

Surprisingly, however, it is Allison’s character that keeps me watching this movie again and again. Famous largely for her role as an overly-sexualized employee on the Tina Fey TV-comedy 30 Rock, Bowden is given many opportunities to connect with Tyler Labine’s Dale. Their chemistry is frankly adorable to watch and gives the movie an extra layer of heart that takes it above and beyond the level of a standard horror comedy.

If you’re looking for a fun horror movie or a Halloween movie to watch with friends not as familiar with the horror genre, then this is a solid pick.

Jonathan's Score: 8/10

Be sure to stay tuned throughout the rest of the month! We're posting a new horror review every day all throughout October, both old and new! Check back to see what movie we'll have you covering your eyes from next!

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