That’s what Tucker and Dale Versus Evil asks the viewer as it takes the tired teen slasher horror film and turns it on its head, making a gory but entertaining comedy as two hapless red necks are mistaken as killers by a group of dumb teenagers on vacation. A breath of fresh air for me!
It only has a run time of eighty minutes, and that’s no surprise; the film’s gimmick is very straight forward to setup, but is executed well for horror fans to see the developing spoofs. The film starts ordinarily enough with dumb teens and ominous red necks, only for the point of view to switch and we see these two men as hapless, innocent bystanders, while the teens themselves turn into a pack of raving lunatics.
That isn’t even explaining it fully, the teenagers are acting like the stereotypes of the genre; reacting blindly and taking everything at face value, scaring and winding each other up into a frenzy. It was good fun watching them go into an ignorant insanity… worryingly believable too really.
I was surprised to see Alan Tudyk (Firefly and 3:10 to Yuma) here as Tucker, he’s always a fun character actor to watch. The film has a lot of heart too, in fact I was more compelled by these two men than any character in a traditional slasher film! But it really was how the film reverses the summer vacation horror on its head that made it worth watching, making the slew of murders merely slapstick accidents, the two hillbillies looking on in horror.
It is a lot of fun, and if I had to pick any holes in it I would only say that some of the teens’ jumps in conclusion are a little extreme, or how the one sane kid does a 180 turn in logic to “charge in guns blazing” towards the end. They are minor gripes, but for such a simple, short film they appear more obvious.
Having subjected myself to so much of this genre, seeing a well made spoof-with-a-heart of it is greatly rewarding because… well… teenagers in those films ARE stupid! I’d say this is up there with Shaun of the Dead.