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Movie Reviews

Tucker and Dale Vs Evil



Released: December 9th 2010 (UK)

Directed By: Eli Craig

Starring: Tyler Labine, Alan Tudyk

Certificate: 15 (UK)

Reviewed By: Wayne Callaghan

Once in awhile a film comes along that bucks the trend and in some cases redefines a genre.

This film is in part, one of those.

The story follows the ‘cabin in the woods’ formula, college kids, bloody deaths and wry humour but that’s as much as I’d like to give away at this point, as there is so much more to this film. For those who haven’t seen the trailer or read the plot online there is a very funny twist involved.

A major triumph of the film is the cast, despite the lack of any major superstars. Our main characters are obviously Tucker (Alan Tudyk, Serenity, A Knights Tale, I Robot) and Dale (Tyler Labine, TV’s Reaper, Rise of the Planets of the Apes). Whilst these actors are not house hold names, you will still recognise their faces. The pairing of these two is a master stroke as without them I think the film would have failed in its concept. They bring not only humour but a huge like-ability to the characters. They bounce off each other well and draw you in to their story and ultimately their dream of a fixer-upper holiday home.
The other main cast member is Allison (Katrina Bowden TV’s 30 Rock, Sex Drive) who brings the obvious sex appeal to the role as she has recently been voted sexiest woman alive (Esquire magazine 2011) but this should not detract from her acting skills as she more than holds her own in her role. She is not wasted in this film- she gives her character depth and a certain vulnerability when needed.

Other than these three the rest of the cast are comprised of unknowns who do exceedingly well at screaming, dying or killing. Being in this film will be a plus on their CV’s and I’m sure will only help them get roles.

The plot itself is well structured, believable and runs at a good pace so you don’t really lose interest, but it’s not so fast you miss out on what’s happening. I found it to be suitably gory, funny when needed and touching in parts – not something you find with current horror comedies and not seen really since the Evil Dead series of films.

The only failing of the film if any is the fact it wasn’t given a wider release, it was pigeon holed as a B movie. It may have a B movie feel and B movie splatter but it’s an A class movie for sure and the studio I feel made a mistake as they often do with a lot of B movies / Horror films in not giving it a larger release. As it stands I got to see it on DVD and at the same time it was released to UK cinemas on a very limited run.

The director Eli Craig will, like the cast, only benefit from the success of this film. His only other of note was Space Cowboys with Clint Eastwood in 2000. I think as he matures as a storyteller his budgets will increase as will his technique behind the camera. Where he may excel is in writing; as he shares the credits on this film, and if he can give other standard fare a decent spin or re-invent a genre I’m excited for his and our future as cinema goers.

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