Flicking Through Netflix: Tucker & Dale vs Evil

Hello, loyal readers! Been a while, hasn’t it? Sorry about that, but life happens and inspiration hasn’t struck me for a few months. The good news is, after my long, unannounced, extended vacation from this blog, I’m refreshed and raring to go! However, since I’m a bit rusty after a few months of not writing, I thought we’d come back with something easy: Another Flicking Through Netflix review!

Horror comedies are quite possibly my favorite genre. You’ve got all the creepy creativeness of horror and all of the lighthearted fun of a comedy mixed in a (usually) perfect blend. While doing research for an upcoming list (you’ll see, I promise), I was reminded of today’s movie.  This is Tucker & Dale vs Evil!

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The movie is a parody of the “cabin in the woods” motif so many B-grade horror schlock likes to play with, so you know the scenario. A group of college kids are going on a camping trip and are planning to have lots of sex, drink, do ALL of the drugs. While they start up their partying, they come across a couple of hillbillies (named Tucker and Dale), and it isn’t long before blood and body parts start flying. But are the hillbillies really to blame this time around?

Confession time: I actually tried watching this movie once about a year ago. About 5 minutes after I started it, I was annoyed by it (and I’ll get to WHY that is later) and I turned it off. Today, I decided to give it another shot, mostly because I stumbled across it on a list of horror comedies. After realizing that Alan Tudyk was in one of the starring roles, I was sold. And let me tell you, sometimes first impressions are completely wrong, because this movie is a lot better than I realized, mainly because of the writing for and performances given by our two main leads.

Tucker and Dale are fantastic characters. Tucker, the more serious, more knowledgeable guy, and Dale, the simple minded, socially awkward one, just play off of each other so well. There was never a moment in this film when I did not believe these two were best friends. Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine simply disappear into their roles and BECOME these characters. They’re funny, sympathetic, and great heroes. I think it speaks volumes that the movie suffered for every scene where these two weren’t present. It’s just too damn bad that they had to have such annoying co-stars.

From the start, I absolutely despised every single one of the college kid kill fodder thrown at us in this movie. They were all annoying and none of them had what you would call an actual personality. I wouldn’t even call the people who played them believable as their characters. Maybe that was the point, making totally unbelievable and annoying characters, but it just made me super pissed whenever the movie turned away from our heroes to have a moment with these guys. The only two who sort of grew on me by the end were Allison (the love interest) and Chad (the villain). Everyone else was just there to die and, when the action finally started, I was very happy. And not just because of catharsis either.

This film does its gore perfectly. All the blood is over the top, but the good thing for a weak stomached fool like me is that none of the kills are too graphic. We never actually see anyone get mutilated in any way. On top of that, I thought all the kills were very creative with nobody really dying in a way I’d seen before. For the horror fan in me, I found seeing these unique kills really refreshing and satisfying.

When it comes to horror comedy, this film definitely leans more toward the comedy. It’s got laughs around every corner, especially if you’re a fan of all those 80s slasher movie tropes and what spoof and parody movies can do with them. The horror elements mostly center around the kills and gore, but it’s still plenty to satiate even the most bloodthirsty horror hound. Tucker and Dale are two of the most lovable characters to ever come out of the genre and I hope this is not the last we see of them. I recommend this movie to anyone who loves to watch how horror comedy can be blended in an almost perfect way. Just try not to cringe too much whenever the movie has to focus on those college idiots.

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