Mark Whelan Best of the Decade

The Best Films of the The Decade: Tucker and Dale vs. Evil

Best Of The Decade Tucker And Dale Vs. Evil (2010)

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (2010) went through quite an ordeal just to find a way
to be seen. Had it not been for film critic Leonard Maltin’s zealous championing of
the film, 1 would’ve never come across this highly original and hysterically
brilliant horror/comedy.
Years after its release, it’s difficult to imagine in retrospect what exactly
prevented this unique picture from being banked on by a distributor. Perhaps the
two leads, sublimely played by Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine, weren’t established
enough frontmen to persuade an audience, or the premise was a little too “out
there7′ for mainstream moviegoers…or maybe the ravishing Katrina Bowden just
wasn’t pretty enough? Whatever the reason, I haven’t met a single person who
came away from this film disenchanted.
Now, a decade after its release, its obscurity may well be an asset, allowing this
delightful escapade of mirth and mayhem to be appreciated on a greater scale as a
“best kept secret’7 of the 201Os.
First things first, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil barely qualifies as a horror film but,
to be fair, it never really tries. While the blood and gore flow steadily enough to
placate genre enthusiasts, it seldom detracts from the film’s seemingly organic way
of maintaining the element of surprise. Where the film may fall short in the fright
realm it more than atones with its own unique sense of wit.
As for Tucker and Dale themselves, I can’t think of a more ideal pairing than
Tudyk and Labine, who are utterly fantastic as the infectiously lovable hillbillies.
It’s also refreshing to have Bowden’s character buck the trends of a hapless damsel
in distress to an engaging supporting role.
It’s worth mentioning that beneath all of the macabre and silliness there is an
important more in-depth story to be told in Tucker and Dale vs. Evil . Below its
blood-soaked exterior lies a thought-provoking parable as most of the horrific
mishaps and grisly ends to its victims are the byproduct of miscommunication and
prejudice. One can traverse hidden meaning if they’re inclined to do so…at the
possibility of robbing the film of its fun.
Tucker and Dale vs. Evil is a breath of fresh air. Smart, hilarious, and full of
energy. While it’s definitely hard to pigeonhole such a film, there’s no denying its
ability to shock and awe in the best sense marking it among one of the decade’s
most pleasant surprises.