It’s Halloween month, y’all, and you know what that means! It’s time to catch up on our favorite horror movies and gear up for Halloween! Last year, I did a Halloween special where I reviewed some of my favorite horror, or Halloween-appropriate movies and I had so much fun doing that, I wanted to do it again. Sadly, I don’t like a lot of horror movies, so my pool of material is about as deep as a puddle in summer in California. So in order to rectify this, I’ve reached out to the deepest and darkest corners of the internet and asked for a little help. And by that, I mean I went on Facebook. So, a very special thanks to the Movie Talk community, as well as my friends and co-workers, for your horror movie suggestions. I won’t be able to get to every single recommendation, but you’ve all left me with great ideas and there’s always next year! This is my Halloween Special 2018!
Cast: Tyler Labine (SUPER TROOPERS 2 , THE BOSS , and upcoming films KILLING WINSTON JONES  and THE MAZE ), Alan Tudyk (DEADPOOL 2 , STAR WARS: ROGUE ONE , MAZE RUNNER 2 , FROZEN , WRECK-IT RALPH , and the upcoming RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET: WRECK-IT RALPH 2 ), Katrina Bowden (stuff I’ve either not seen or heard of), Jesse Moss (FINAL DESTINATION 3 , 1 episode CONTINUUM [2012 – 2015], and the upcoming DADDY’S GIRL ), and Chelan Simmons (PERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIANS: THE LIGHTNING THIEF  and KYLE XY [2006 – 2009])
Director/Co-writer: Eli Craig (stuff I’ve either not seen or heard of)
Co-writer: Morgan Jurgenson (stuff I’ve either not seen or heard of)
Composer: Mike Shields (stuff I’ve either not seen or heard of, and the upcoming #ROXY )
Cinematographer: David Geddes (6 episodes of LEGENDS OF TOMORROW [2016 – 2018] and 11 episodes of FRINGE [2008 – 2013])
Editor: Bridget Durnford (VAN HELSING [2016 – ongoing], and the upcoming ROOT OF THE PROBLEM )
This is my honest opinion of: TUCKER & DALE VS. EVIL
Tucker (Alan Tudyk) and Dale (Tyler Labine) are a pair of hillbilly childhood best friends on their way to Tucker’s summer home for a little vacation. Along the way, they meet a group of college kids who see them as freaky psychos when Dale attempts to talk to one of the girls, Ally (Katrina Bowden), only to be too tongue-tied to say anything. Despite this bust, they find the summer home, a fixer-upper, and get to work. One night, going fishing, the two friends catch those same college kids swimming in the lake and accidentally scare Ally, who calls off a rock and hits her head. They attempt to save her, but her friends think she’s being abducted and run away. When Ally wakes up, she learns the truth that Tucker and Dale are actually very nice. However, the ignorance of her friends make plans to kill them, led by the hillbilly-hating Chad (Jesse Moss).
Jesus Christ this movie still holds up as one of my favorite horror-comedies ever made.
I for one adore this premise. It’s all about that role reversal with the hillbillies being the victims, whereas the college kids are the bad guys. This is almost a dream come true in terms of the writing because usually the college kids are annoying as hell and you want to see them die. You still get it, but they’re written in a way that makes them sort of hilarious dumb-asses, yet you can kind of see their point of view. Everything Tucker and Dale do can be seen as weird out of context. But we’re clued in on their friendly nature and they’re just a couple of dudes who just want to have some fun and get away from it all. But once the mayhem starts, everyone blows everything out of proportion. Tucker and Dale are seen as psychotic murderers, and Tucker and Dale see the college kids as they’re in some kind of suicide pact as they start dying around them. I love how dumb everyone is, but it’s such an entertaining and lovable dumb. Again, you gotta appreciate that as most horror films just write frustratingly dumb characters.
The performances are absolutely perfect for this movie. Labine as Dale is so great as this dimwitted sweetheart who’s only trying to be hospitable, respectful, and generous. And Tudyk, man, I can’t get enough of this guy. He’s amazing in everything that he does, whether it’s his face physically on screen, or his voice in a Disney movie. He is such a treasure and this movie is no different. While certainly the most prickly out of the two titular characters, Tucker is still loyal to Dale and dishes out a lot of tough love to get him to get out that timid bubble Dale traps himself in. Bowden is great as Ally, who does give the boys a chance and is pretty sweet herself, helping out with the chores around the house, humoring Dale by playing board games with him, and does her best to mediate between the two warring sides. Moss as Chad is also pretty charismatic as his madness progresses over the course of the story. Even when he’s introduced, he’s not a nice dude. He comes on to Ally that would make any woman uncomfortable, is so blood-thirsty that he refuses to let anyone get the cops, try and call for help on their phones, and is wonderfully entertaining as he devolves. Though most of the college kids in the movie are pretty one-note as cannon fodder, I have to say that Simmons as Chloe absolutely kills me. She’s clearly supposed to be the slutty girl of the group, but she’s actually played up as the most hysterical person in the movie. I get such a kick out of the fact that she’s running away from, or chasing after Tucker and Dale in her mini-skirt, in high heels, in the woods, and constantly trying to light a cigarette. She’s the only one that really stands out, but that just may be because Simmons the only other actor I know anything about outside of Tudyk and, to a lesser degree, Labine.
The practical effects are a whole lot of fun, the comedy is spot on, the violence is satisfyingly brutal, and really gets to a place of fun insanity by the climax. Folks, I don’t know what more I can say about this other than if you like a good and hilarious satire of the slasher-horror genre, then I couldn’t recommend this with more conviction if I tried. This is a staple of Halloween for me every year and I hope this gets a bigger following as time goes on.
My honest rating for TUCKER & DALE VS. EVIL: 5/5