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Tucker & Dale vs. Evil (2010)

Sheesh. A person turns their back onto modern horror in order to descend into madness for a career in stuff no one's interested in besides for the occasional madman or creep, only to return and see that they fucking missed a lot of cool stuff in the two years they were busy. Jeez. Give a body some rest.
Then again, I distinctly remember seeing the DVDs in a friend's preferred video store, thinking something along the lines of "this is so not going to be funny". And now, roughly 2 years later, I can come here and say 'dude, I was wrong. SO WRONG', because this, ladies and gentlemen, ghosts and ghouls, zombeasts and vamplings, is frelling hilarious. And I mean HILARIOUS.

So... let's start with WEST VIRGINIAAAAAAAA!!! Not just the home of my favourite band Blitzkid - who are going to finally split up after this tour, and damn, I shall have to run amok if I cannot manage to get to their final gig in Köln on Halloween - but also the trusty location where all horror movie nerds from around the world* know to find the evil woods that house, well, hillbillies. Murderous hillbillies. Madness, murder, slaughter, violence, death! Not necessarily in this order, though.

So yeah, the second we move into West Virginia, we know we're in for... well. A ride. I would totally offer you screenshots of the West Virginia woods scene in Tucker & Dale vs Evil and drag up my old West Virginia woods screen from Wrong Turn now, but alas, this laptop is not able to do that.

Our two heroes are Tucker and Dale. Tucker (Alan Tudyk) is one of the nifteh guys from Firefly in case you think you remember that face; in this movie, the eponymous Tucker is one of two 'hillbillies' on their way to their vacation in their dilapidated cabin in the woods; he is a simple yet philosophically skilled man who understands the truths of the world as it presents itself to us (and, according to Dale, also quite the man with the ladies, which I feel compelled to believe him). Dale - played by Tyler Labine - is the sweet-natured, slightly bigger guy. To be honest, I felt eerily reminded of Cannibal Flesh Riot! and the comedic trope of the tall, thin, clever guy teamed up with the beer-belly, bigger, less clever guy; the slight Cannibal Flesh Riot! - feeling probably comes from the fact that both movies subvert the trope successfully.

Tucker & Dale vs Evil is something that will probably be funny to most people, but only hilariously funny to those of us who have watched a few too many horror flicks. Every single stereotype is there, magnificently enhanced by the movie's joy to take the genre-specifics that all make us groan and just run with them; there's no need to pretend that the victims are not picked out for our viewing pleasure, that what happens is actually happening due to circumstances and not because it's what happens in horror flicks, that people get hilariously killed in extremely funny ways not because this is a horror flick but because this is, you know, serious business.

Generally speaking, this movie did everything right.

I particularly want to praise how writer** and director Eli Craig made it really easy for the viewer to see the two sides of the story - the hapless Dale and the a-bit-less-hapless Tucker (reminding at least me not just a little of his Firefly-character Wash) with all the weird stuff that happens around them, seriously confused by what they experience: perfectly contrasted with the young college people (I freely assume they are being young college people as actors of that age and dressed like that in such movies are always college people) and their preconceptions about what kind of people Tucker and Dale might possibly be.
As someone who is fascinated with the differences that make up each of our realities due to inferring that the world is the way we see it, I find this movie to be simply AWESOME - funny and awesome. It is hilarious, but at the same time, I could easily make a comparison between our college youths and Nazi Germany - but alas, I will refrain from doing that***.

The faithful horror fan will enjoy the scenes presented in Tucker & Dale vs Evil so much more than a non-horror viewer - although I have to admit I do not think too many people without at least a slight penchant for horror would watch it. Then again, I have no idea what normal people who are not into horror actually watch...

Old horror movie key-scenes and tropes have been used in such a fucking ingenious way that I feel it would be unfair to rob you of them by talking about them. Let's just say that the scenes are nearly flawless.

Oh, and I want to state that the free use of beer is awesome in this movie. Beer is an important part of civilisation, and these two proud men know it. Tucker and Dale are on the case!

Seriously though: Serious message (do not assume that people are what you think they are just because of their looks and your preconceived notions of stereotypes), hilarious flick. Along with the fun, the brain-stuff, the subtle social undertones we also get some really heart-warming scenes about friendship and acceptance (and cute romance). As I said, in my opinion, this has pretty much everything and has been done very, very, very very well. :D

The acting is pretty solid throughout - our two male leads and the female lead (Katrina Bowden as Allison) are obvious in this regard, but the college kids are also... more believable than their non-funny-horror-flick-with-hillbillies-counterparts on which they have been modelled. Then again, overacting such a part is way easier than trying to act believably - I mean come on. Would you be able to act in a believable way if you were to be cannon fodder for a woods-slasher-movie? I know I probably wouldn't.

The dialogue, too, is one of the most hilarious things ever, especially if you're watching this with the horror stereotypes we all know and love in mind. To be honest: Writing a review for this is a bit weird for me because I am giggling most of the time if not laughing out loud due to the hilarity of it all.


Highly recommended to everyone!

9.5 / 10 creepy college kids hurling themselves to their premature death ("...Grab a leg!")

* Including females with hardly any idea about the geography of the world today who are nonetheless still able to split hairs about how much distance can be calculated to be lying between two ancient sites that have been ancient and dead for more than 4,000 years, obviously.
** Together with Morgan Jurgenson.
*** Take the superstitions the college kids have towards our friendly heroes and how that enrages them to act further and further, drowning down the spiral of pointless violence, under the aegis of a leader, and simply compare mentally with how the Germans and Austrians had these weird superstitions towards the Jewish people and how that enraged them to act further and further, drowning down the spiral of pointless violence under the aegis of a Führer... damn, I did it! ><

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