Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil (2010) co-written and directed by Eli Craig
Two rednecks, Tucker (Tyler Labine) and Dale (Alan Tudyk of Firefly fame), head out to their vacation home, a cabin in the woods. At the same time, a bunch of college students head out to the same woods for a pot/beer/sex-filled camping weekend. The two groups run across each other at a convenience store and gas station where initial impressions are negative ones. Tucker thinks one of the girls is cute but he gets tongue-tied talking to her, so he comes off as creepy. The college kids come off as stuck-up and better-than-you, none more so than Chad. That night Tucker and Dale go fishing and the college kids go skinny-dipping in the same lake. One of the girls, Allison, accidentally falls and hits her head. Tucker dives in to save her. When he and Dale call out to her friends, the friends all assume they are some sort of hillbilly psychos kidnapping their friend. The kids run away screaming, leaving Tucker and Dale to take Allison to their cabin and nurse her back to health. In the morning, Chad wants to arm up and take her back by force. Things escalate in hilarious and horrible ways from there.
The movie is an amazing blend of horror tropes and comedy. It does a great job of turning expectations on their heads. All of the kills are horrible accidents that are misinterpreted in the worst possible way by the characters in the movie. The college kids think the rednecks are offing them one by one. The rednecks think the college kids have formed some suicide pact. Grim but laugh-out-loud humor permeates the story.
The movie makers could have left this as a blood-soaked comedy of errors but were actually able to add some heart. Tucker and Allison come to an understanding of each other rather quickly as everything else around them spirals out of control. They give the movie some sane, likable characters to root for, something sorely lacking in other horror movies. They actually care about each other and try to fix the situation, though again with comic stumbles that drive the story forward. I found the writing surprisingly intelligent in these situations.
This movie is a surprising hit for me!