Friday, October 5, 2018

31 Days of Dread--Day 5

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil; 2010; written by Eli Craig & Morgan Jurgenson; directed by Eli Craig 

This film could be called Big-Hearted Hillbillies vs. Clueless Preppies (who in many ways represent the real evil here). But summarizing the concept that way would also minimize its many charms, most of which hinge on two delightful lead performances.

Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine play lifelong friends Tucker and Dale, who've just purchased their dream a vacation home--actually a rundown cabin in the backwoods of West Virginia.

When Dale shyly attempts to talk to a young woman who's arrived with friends for a weekend of camping, he's rejected due to his appearance and demeanor. That initial misunderstanding sets into motion a series of increasingly ridiculous and gory catastrophes--some of them homages to classic horror films. Each time tragicomedy strikes, it's the direct results of the campers' inability to see past their own prejudices and into Tucker and Dale's sincerely good natures and intentions.

Underrated by audiences (but not critics) during its initial release, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil has since gained new relevance. Red-state viewers will appreciate the film's sympathetic treatment of its title characters. Blue state viewers should as well.

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil is available on Netflix(!) and streaming rental.

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