Oct 2011 01

Few films can claim to have as much heart and emotion as Tucker and Dale vs Evil. Even fewer horror movies can make that claim. However for an indie horror-comedy, this film truly delivers.

Tucker and Dale vs Evil starts with a humble premise, a group of college kids meet horror in the woods. You may say that’s the premise of a thousand other horror films…and you’d be right. Tucker and Dale though, does it with a twist.

As officially stated in the premise:

“Tucker and Dale are on vacation at their dilapidated mountain cabin when they are attacked by a group of preppy college kids. ”

That’s the twist. Think about the possibility that The Hills Have Eyes was really just a big misunderstanding. Ask yourself, what’s more frightening than a group of self-centered frat boys. Ponder these questions and you’ll have a decent idea of the premise of Tucker and Dale.

Fortunately, Tucker and Dale doesn’t solely rely on this gimmick to float the rest of the movie.  Writer/Director Eli Craig manages to pump more laughs, thrills and empathy into these 89 minutes than most big budget “epics”. Keep in mind, this is a very “small” movie. Production value is extremely low. Most of the special effects shots are noticably worse than your average Hollywood flick; however Eli Craig does the best with what he has and creates set pieces that are both hilarious and horrifying.

Most horror movies today focus so much on spectacle and envelope-pushing that they forego any character development. If the audience creates an emotional attachment with the central characters in Acts I and II, we’ll be much more frightened when those characters are in peril in Act III. While many films attempt this, few succeed the way Tucker and Dale does.

While writer/director Eli Craig deserves a lot of credit, the actors deserve just as much. Specifically Tyler Labine (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), Alan Tudyk (Serenity) and Katrina Bowden (30 Rock), with Jesse Moss (Ginger Snaps) holding his own as well. Without giving too much away, the work between Tyler Labine and Katrina Bowden is fantastic.

Since it’s debut at the Sundance Film Festival in January, 2010, Tucker and Dale has just now opened in theaters. It’s also currently enjoying a run on Video On Demand. While this film wouldn’t typically be considered “mainstream”, the humor is wide enough to satisfy most audiences. If you’re a fan of comedy, horror or horror-comedy, you need to check out Tucker and Dale vs Evil.

It’s currently playing at the Tivoli theater in St. Louis, MO.


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