Tucker And Dale Vs. Evil - Online Review

'a series of Unfortunate Events... less Lemony Snicket, more Michael Myers'

Eli Craig's Hick Comedy Horror has a couple of moments of laugh-out-loud fun and a number of moments of tight scripting but eventually staggers somewhat under the weight of its high concept. Tucker And Dale Vs. Evil's high concept seeks to disprove the constantly re-enforced Horror belief that backwood-dwelling Americans are all murderous savages, out for blood, suggesting, rather playfully, that they're really just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Said non-savages in this case are Tucker (Alan Tudyk) and Dale (Tyler Labine), a lonely pair of childhood friends, taking a trip to Tucker's 'holiday home' for renovations, beer drinking and a spot of fishing. Suddenly beset by a horde of partying college students - including innocent beau Ally (Katrina Bowden) and We Need To Talk About Kevin-alike Chad (Jesse Moss) - the friends find themselves blamed for a series of Unfortunate Events which are less Lemony Snicket and more Michael Myers. One, involving a wood chipper, serves as the film's single best sequence, a masterly combination of the grimly unfortunate, the bloodily icky and the darkly comic.

The problem for Craig's film comes from the fact that his concept limits the methods by which he can dispatch his victims. Once it has been established that Tucker is the epitome of 'wrong place, wrong time' and that Dale has all the common sense of a socially inept woodland animal, the college students are left to off themselves in a variety of vague variations on a theme, nearly all of which basically involve not heeding the sage-like advice to 'never run with scissors'.

There's some pleasant use of reverse imagery employed on a number of occasions (note who's 'on the couch' when the word 'psychiatrist' is first used) and the film proves a pleasant watch, mainly thanks to the warm connection between Tudyk and Labine, as well as the more-than-game support from Bowden and Moss. Ultimately though, this could have been much more fun than the level it settles for and the non-inventive kills in a sub-genre ripe for pastiche, parody and homage - as recognised by the film's very existence - are particularly disappointing.

Tucker And Dale Vs. Evil was available to watch on Lovefilm's Watch Online service.

Look further...

'Tucker And Dale Vs. Evil never runs out of steam. It briskly piles up a bounty of slasher movie clich├ęs with delicious absurdity' - Film Babble Blog

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