As the horror genre continues to die, there is an influx of horror movies that blur subjects and manipulate how we view our horror lineage. Tucker & Dale vs. Evil is a comedy horror that uses laughs as a way to parody horror clichés. Movies like these have the unfortunate fate of usually tripping over their own feet and creating a horrible film, but Tucker & Dale vs. Evil is genuinely funny and a great film, even though it doesn’t provide many scares.
The movie begins with a group of college kids going camping in West Virginia. While getting gas, the group stumbles upon Tucker and Dale, who appear to be malicious hillbillies. As the story goes on, it's constant miscommunication and comedy. Viewers will find themselves laughing out loud at the horror puns and the great acting by Tucker (Alan Tudyk) and Dale (Tyler Labine). References to Deliverance, Friday the 13th, and every horror movie with college kids are abundant and will keep you wanting more. While outrageous, the plot twists are believable and I found myself thinking that fratty kids and hillbillies really could have such a rift between them.
Ultimately, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil is a great film, but is it a great horror film? This movie doesn’t deliver much in the scare department besides gore and an interesting villain. Sometimes comedy films are just a veil for the real horror underneath, but there was nothing disturbing or lasting about this movie. Since it was a parody of horror clichés, there wasn’t anything in the movie that was incredibly unique, besides its ability to masterfully parody what we view horror as. With all this in mind, its ability to create a wonderful movie that sheds light on what horror has become is incredibly important for horror aficionados and newbies that are looking to get into the genre.
If I was reviewing this film based solely on how good it was, then I would give it a 9, but I have the task of determining how good of a horror movie it is. While not scary, it educates us on horror and represents the rift between what the people want and what horror directors and big companies actually give us. Sometimes when things are so down and out it is important to laugh, which is exactly what this movie gives us. Still, with its lack of scares and focus on comedy, the film can’t be viewed as a classic horror film. If you are overly serious about your horror films, then this is not the movie for you, but if you appreciate the ability to laugh at yourself and what you love, then I have no doubt you will love Tucker & Dale vs. Evil.
If you liked Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, you might also like The Cabin in the Woods.