A refreshing twist on the “college students in the woods” story.
Two hillbilly pals plan their dream fishing trip/vacation at a newly purchased, abandoned cabin in the woods. After encountering a group of obnoxious “college kids” on the road, they arrive at their destination to find the cabin in great condition, at least in their minds. They are totally unfazed by the scattered junk and old newspaper clippings about murders in the area. They also find their neighbors, the same group of college students they met on the road to be quite odd and a little angry.
In mainstream circles, Tucker & Dale may be one of the most underrated horror/comedies in recent years. The studio did not seem to do any marketing around this one and it was rumored to have been held for several years before it was finally released.
With one exception, the college kids are generally as objectionable as any others in horror films. They are a little like the snotty Elm Street kids Freddy used to visit. There are also some gory, grizzly deaths but the overall story is so much fun that it is easy to laugh when it happens.
There is an obvious “don’t judge a book by it’s cover moral ” but it is never preached. Tucker and Dale are scary-looking hillbillies but they are still just a couple of buddies with their own goals in life and simple definitions of success and happiness. That is what makes them so likable. This is the first American film reviewed on the site and fortunately, it is a great one. It takes the always atrocious “college kids in the woods with hillbilly stalkers” cliche formula and shakes it up before turning it inside out. That statement will actually make sense after watching it.
TRT: 89 minutes
Appropriate gore: 10
Production value: 9
Final Cut score (45) 90%