TUCKER AND DALE VS. EVIL Look For Safe Haven On DemandSeptember 28, 2011

TUCKER AND DALE VS. EVIL Look For Safe Haven On Demand

On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of hot movies on demand and from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: TUCKER AND DALE VS. EVIL (Magnet Releasing)


 

Click Here For On Demand Weekly's Exclusive Interview With Director Eli Craig

 

 

TUCKER AND DALE VS. EVIL On Demand
By Chris Claro

 

Rare is the truly original idea. With virtually every movie pitched as a mashup of two (or more) established properties – “It’s AMERICAN BEAUTY meets THE BOURNE IDENTITY” – it isn’t often that a film shows a glimmer of originality.

Paradoxically, TUCKER AND DALE VS. EVIL,

a film that takes on the tropes of hillbilly slasher films

and turns them on their bloody ear,

is one of the freshest and funniest films to come along in a while.

 



Full of all the expected chainsaws, wood chippers, and obnoxious college students, the film mixes gore and comedy to tell a story about how appearances can deceive. Seemingly stereotypical hillbillies Dale (Tyler Labine, RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES) and Tucker (Alan Tudyk, FIREFLY) want nothing more than to fix up Tucker’s cabin in peace and quiet. But a series of misunderstandings and overreactions sets off a chain of bloody slayings that upend expectations and turn the victims into their own worst enemies.

Throughout, director Eli Craig – son of Sally Field – makes the most of what was clearly a shoestring budget to twist the clichés of the form in much the same way that John Landis did thirty years ago with AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON. By casting a knowing eye toward the hoary devices of the rural horror flick – nubile skinny-dippers, campfire ghost stories, graphic deaths – Craig, as Landis had before him, tweaks the genre while maintaining its traditions.

The screenplay, by Craig and Morgan Jurgenson, is predicated on the idea that people – and movies, for that matter – shouldn’t be judged solely on their looks. In subverting the expectations of the audience by inverting the conventions of the film, Craig and Jurgenson offer a kind of meta commentary on thirty years’ worth of slasher flicks.

 

 

Craig gets excellent performances from the stars in TUCKER AND DALE VS. EVIL. Labine, who calls to mind a kinder Jack Black and a gentler Meat Loaf, is totally winning as the uncertain Dale. Lacking confidence, he’s the kind of character who approaches a girl with a huge scythe in his hand and can’t understand why she gets squirrelly. Labine brings out Dale’s vulnerability in a totally winning performance. As the Abbott to Dale’s Costello, Alan Tudyk is terrific. Dale’s biggest booster, Tudyk’s Tucker is an able sidekick and handles the physical comedy adroitly.

 

Katrina Bowden, from “30 Rock,” is sweet as the nubile and trusting Allison, whose fall into the lake precipitates the madness that ensues.

 



A speedy and surprising take-off on redneck horror, TUCKER AND DALE VS. EVIL is a revelation: a pastiche that isn’t merely a series of gags, a la the SCARY MOVIE series, but a funny, well-crafted send-up that’s as much about its story and characters as it is about movies themselves.


If you’re looking for laughs and you’re down with some blood, guts, and viscera, punch up TUCKER AND DALE VS. EVIL on demand. It’s a blast.

 

 

- Chris Claro

Chris
Chris Claro is a contributing writer to On Demand Weekly. He is a former Director of Promotion for Sundance Channel and now works as a writer, producer, and media educator. He is a regular contributor to dvdverdict.com and contributor to the Eyes and Ears section of huffingtonpost.com

 

Look for TUCKER AND DALE VS. EVIL (Magnet Releasing) under your cable system's Movie On Demand section.


 

See Chris' Other Reviews & Interviews...

Can Joe Swanberg Make Mumblecore Sexy?

THE BIG UNEASY - DEMAND IT

Has Matthew Chapman Made The First Mainstream Atheist Thriller?

THE LEDGE - DEMAND IT

ARMADILLO - RISK IT

THE TRIPDEMAND IT

THE PERFECT HOSTDEMAND IT

ZONAD - DEMAND IT

SUPER - starring Rainn Wilson - DEMAND IT

« Previous
Next »