Friday, October 27, 2017
Tucker & Dale vs. Evil
Directed by Eli Craig and screenplay by Craig and Morgan Jurgenson from a story by Craig, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil is about a couple of hillbillies who get a case of mistaken identity by a bunch of college kids who believe they’re a couple of killers. The film is a spoof of sorts that play into horror films set in the South with a twist as two men who are just simple nice guys find themselves dealing with idiotic and mean college kids. Starring Tyler Labine, Alan Tudyk, Katrina Bowden, Chelan Simmons, and Jesse Moss. Tucker & Dale vs. Evil is a witty yet exhilarating film from Eli Craig.
The film follow two hillbillies who go to West Virginia for a vacation at a cabin where they come across a group of college kids who are convinced that these two hillbillies are a couple of crazed killers when it isn’t true at all. It’s a film about misunderstanding and what people think of when they see a certain kind of people and expect the worst. The film’s screenplay by Eli Craig and Morgan Jurgenson follows these two men in Tucker (Alan Tudyk) and Dale (Tyler Labine) who are just wanting to go to a cabin for a vacation and fix the cabin up as they would encounter these college kids where Dale is drawn towards the psychology student Allison (Katrina Bowden) but has a hard time talking to her. When Allison fell off a rock during a skinny-dipping attempt, she is saved by Tucker and Dale but her friends think they saw her being eaten prompting her douchebag boyfriend Chad (Jesse Moss) to try and save her thinking the hillbillies are trying to recreate the infamous Memorial Day Massacre. Immediately, things go very wrong for Chad’s friends where paranoia and misunderstand would lead to very deadly situations.
Craig’s direction definitely has element of styles as it play into many of the visual tropes expected in slasher films set in the woods yet putting a humorous twist on it. Though it’s set in the Appalachian Mountains in West Virginia, the film is actually shot near Calgary, Alberta in Canada. Craig does use the location as a fitting setting where it’s nature that sort of plays into the suspense rather than the characters while Craig’s approach to compositions in the medium shots and close-ups are straightforward. There’s a few wide shots in the film yet Craig chooses to emphasize on the characters reacting to a certain situation or their reaction to the increasing body count that would happen throughout the film. Much of the violence in the film is stylized but is approached with humor showcasing the stupidity of what happens when someone judges a person for who they are or the way they look. Overall, Craig creates a hilarious and exhilarating film about a group of dumb-ass kids making an assumption over a couple of nice hillbillies whom they believe are creepy serial killers.
Cinematographer David Geddes does excellent work with the film’s cinematography with its usage of natural lighting for some of the scenes in the woods in the daytime along with some low-key yet stylish lighting for the scenes at night. Editor Bridget Dunford does nice work with the editing as it has bits of style in its approach to rhythms to play into the humor and suspense. Production designer John Blackie, with set decorator Sean Blackie, Amber Humphries, and Thomas Walker, does fantastic work with the look of the cabin that Tucker and Dale would try to fix as well as the truck stop early in the film. Costume designer Mary Hyde-Kerr does terrific work with the costumes from the overalls Tucker and Dale wear to the more stylish and casual look of the college kids.
Special effects makeup work by Sharon Toohey and prosthetics designer David Trainor do brilliant work with the look of some of the gore as well as the look of a character during its third act. Visual effects supervisor Lee Wilson does wonderful work with the visual effects as it relates mainly to the bits of gore and horror that is used for humor. Sound designer James Fonnyadt does superb work with the sound in creating an atmosphere for some of the suspense as well as in some of the violence. The film’s music by Michael Shields and Andrew Kaiser is amazing for its mixture of rock, country, and folk to play into the atmosphere of the American South with its soundtrack devoting to music of that area.
The casting by Sean Milliken is marvelous as it feature some notable small roles from Phillip Granger as a sheriff, the quartet of Travis Nelson, Alex Arsenault, Adam Beauchesne, and Joseph Allan Sutherland as four of the students, Christie Laing and Brandon Jay McLaren as a couple who are part of college camping trip, and Chelan Simmons as Chloe as the typical dumb blonde with high heels as she provides a lot of humor to her role. Jesse Moss is excellent as Chad as the college frat boy with a hatred for hillbillies as his motive is unveiled as someone who thinks Tucker and Dale are killers as he emphasizes the persona of ignorance.
Katrina Bowden is fantastic as Allison as a psychology student who is the voice of reason of sorts as someone who gets falls in a skinny-dipping attempt only to be saved by Tucker and Dale where she realizes that they’re not what Chad and her friends claim to be. Finally, there’s the duo of Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine in amazing performances in their respective roles as Tucker and Dale. Tudyk and Labine provide a sense of charm into their performances with Tudyk making Dale the more confident and reserved guy who is trying to help the more insecure and socially-awkward Dale as they’re just a joy to watch.
Tucker & Dale vs. Evil is a remarkable film from Eli Craig. Featuring a great cast, a witty premise, and a great mixture of horror and comedy, it’s a film that doesn’t take itself too seriously while displaying some of the worst aspects of humanity when it comes to judging people. In the end, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil is an incredible film from Eli Craig.
© thevoid99 2017