ICFIFC: Tucker and Dale vs Evil

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Monday, November 11, 2013

ICFIFC: Tucker and Dale vs Evil

In general, I’m not a fan of modern horror films.  I find the majority to be retreads or mistaking gore for horror or just plain stupid.  My wife uses the term “horror snob” and I just that is a good description.  I much prefer a good story over painting the set with blood.  So, when I come across a film that is both entertaining and inspired I take note.  Tonight’s film may not be the most horrific but it is one of the best stories I have watched recently.


Tucker and Dale vs Evil (2010)

  • Genre: Comedy – Horror
  • Directed: Eli Craig
  • Produced:
    • Thomas Augsberger 
    • Crawford Hawkins 
    • Morgan Jurgenson 
    • Albert Klychak 
    • Jennifer Kraft 
    • Rosanne Milliken 
    • Deepak Nayar 
    • Alissa Phillips  Mark Ryan
  • Written:
    • Eli Craig 
    • Morgan Jurgenson
  • Starring: Tyler Labine, Alan Tudyk, Katrina Bowden, Jesse Moss
  • Music:
    • Michael Shields 
    • Andrew Kaiser
  • Cinematography: David Geddes
  • Editing: Bridget Durnford
  • Studio:
    • Reliance Big Pictures  
    • Loubyloo Productions  
    • Eden Rock Media  
    • Gynormous Pictures  
    • Kintop Pictures  
    • Urban Island  
    • Alberta Film Development Program of the Alberta Government  
    • National Bank of Canada TV and Motion Picture Group
    • T&D Productions
  • Distributed:
    • Magnet Releasing  
    • Maple Pictures  
    • Magnolia Home Entertainment
  • Rated:
  • Release Date: 22 January 2010
  • Running Time: 89 minutes
  • Country:
    • Canada 
    • United States
  • Language: English

Elijah M. "Eli" Craig (born May 25, 1972) is an American screenwriter and film director, who started his Hollywood career with a few small acting jobs.  His first full-length film as writer/director was the horror comedy movie Tucker & Dale vs Evil, which took three years to complete.  He is Sally Field's second son.  His older brother Peter Craig is an actor, screenwriter and novelist.  His half-brother John Craig is a musician.  He also has another younger half-brother named Sam Greisman, who is Sally Field's youngest son.  On September 5, 2004, Craig married Sasha Williams, an actress best known for her role as the Yellow Ranger Kelsey Winslow in Power Rangers.

Despite a limited release, Tucker & Dale vs Evil was generally well received by critics. The film holds a "fresh" rating of 85% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 95 reviews stating "Like the best horror/comedies, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil mines its central crazy joke for some incredible scares, laughs, and—believe it or not—heart".  On Metacritic, the movie holds a 65 rating out of 100, from 23 critic reviews, indicating generally favorable reviews.  Todd Gilchrist wrote that "Eli Craig's feature debut celebrates genre conventions while turning the traditional view of horror-movie heroes and villains upside down."  Roger Ebert also gave the film a positive review, writing "Students of the Little Movie Glossary may find it funny how carefully "Tucker and Dale" works its way through upended clich├ęs".

Allison, Chad, Chloe, Chuck, Jason, Naomi, Todd, Mitch and Mike, are going camping in West Virginia.  While at a gas station, they encounter Tucker and Dale, two well-meaning hillbillies who have just bought the vacation home of their dreams: a run-down lakefront cabin, deep in the woods.  On Tucker's advice, Dale tries to talk to Allison, but because of his inferiority complex and appearance, he only scares her and her friends.

Tucker and Dale arrive at their cabin, which is in a state of disrepair and begin repairing it.  Nearby in the woods, Chad tells the other guys a story around the campfire about the "Memorial Day Massacre," a hillbilly attack which took place 20 years ago in the same section of the woods, leaving only one survivor.  The college kids go skinny-dipping in the same lake where Tucker and Dale are fishing.  Allison gets startled by them and falls in the water, hitting her head on a rock.  Tucker and Dale save her, but the college kids think Allison has been kidnapped. Allison wakes up in Tucker and Dale's cabin the next day and, although scared at first, she finds the two hillbillies to be harmless and befriends them.  The other college kids arrive at the cabin to save Allison from her "psychopathic captors," and Chuck runs away to get the police.  While Dale and Allison are inside the cabin, Tucker angers some bees after chain sawing through a hive and frantically waves it around, which the college kids assume he's trying to kill them.  They all scatter through the woods and Mitch accidentally impales himself on a broken tree.  After finding Mitch's body, Chad persuades the others that they're in a battle of survival with the hillbillies.

Tucker and Dale then set out to find the kids but fail to do so.  The college kids follow the two back to their cabin, where they see Allison helping out with construction but assume they're making her dig her own grave.  The college kids attack, but Todd and Mike end up accidentally killing themselves and Allison is accidentally knocked unconscious again by Dale's shovel.  The other kids assume the hillbillies killed them when they see Tucker trying to save Mike from the woodchipper.  Tucker and Dale think the college kids are suicidal and that contacting the police will make them murder suspects.  Chuck arrives back with a sheriff, who expresses doubt over Tucker and Dale's suicide pact theory.  The sheriff goes inside the cabin to check out the unconscious Allison, but leans on an unstable beam and is killed by nails.  Chuck tries to shoot the hillbillies with the sheriff's gun, but accidentally kills himself.  Chad reappears and attempts to shoot Tucker and Dale, but only manages to capture Tucker, whom he ties upside down to a tree.

Dale goes out to rescue Tucker while Chad and Naomi return to the cabin to save Allison.  As Allison tries to assure them that everything's a misunderstanding, they accuse her of having Stockholm syndrome.  Tucker and Dale return and Allison attempts to lead a calm discussion.  Chad ends up revealing that his mother was the lone survivor of the Memorial Day Massacre, while his dad was killed by the hillbillies.  At the time, she was unknowingly pregnant with Chad and was institutionalized.  Jason and Chloe both break in to save everyone, in which a fight breaks out.  As a fire is caused, Tucker, Dale and Allison escape as Naomi, Chloe and Jason are killed, while an insane and horribly scarred Chad survives and is all the more determined to kill Tucker and Dale. Allison, Tucker and Dale escape in their truck but crash it moments later.  Upon regaining consciousness, Dale finds an injured Tucker who tells him that Chad has taken Allison to an old sawmill.  Dale finds Allison restrained to a log on a sawbench and Dale fights Chad, frees Allison and the two barricade themselves inside an upstairs office. They find old news clippings on the Memorial Day Massacre and the truth about Chad's father: he was not one of the victims, but the Memorial Day killer himself, who raped his mother.  Chad becomes enraged over the truth, and Dale stops his attack by throwing a box of chamomile tea at Chad, which triggers an asthma attack due to his allergies.  The asthma attack causes Chad to convulse so severely that he falls out the window and is apparently killed.

The police and a news crew arrive late at the cabin, and broadcast a news report stating that the deaths appear to be the result of a suicide pact and a deranged killer.  Tucker watches the report on the news while convalescing in the hospital.  Dale enters, and they discuss Tucker's recovery.  Tucker asks Dale whether he managed to invite Allison on a date and is happy to hear the two of them are going bowling.  Later that night at the bowling alley, the two profess their feelings for each other and kiss.

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