How the assumption that anyone in the woods is a bloodthirsty redneck can go horribly wrong. There are always two sides to every story, even one as cliched as poor defenseless college kids being set upon by crazed, homicidal locals.
Meet Tucker, played by Alan Tudyk (Death at a Funeral, Knocked Up) and Dale, played by Tyler Labine (Antitrust, Flyboys), two best friends living their best life. After purchasing a lakefront cabin the two friends are going to fix it up and have the summer hunting and fishing cabin they’ve always dreamed of.
The two friends meet a large group of college kids at the local gas station and Tucker tries to convince his friend Dale to talk to the girl he likes. Sadly Dale has trouble talking to strange girls and looks like a stereotypical redneck, as he attempts to talk to the girl, Allison, played by Katrina Bowden (American Reunion, Movie 43) she becomes scared and flees with her friends.
The story then introduces the viewer properly to Chad, played by Jesse Moss (Final Destination 3, The Uninvited) as he tells the group of friends about the infamous Memorial Day Massacre and how a group of local hillbillies attacked and brutally murdered a group of college kids, like themselves. This instantly makes the group of friends wary about the presence of Tucker and Dale. After an accident whilst swimming naked, Allison is rescued from drowning in the lake by Tucker and Dale, who take her into their cabin to help her recover. This is seen by the group of friends who become convinced that their friend Allison, has been captured by the insane rednecks.
What follows is a series of misunderstandings between the groups, Tucker and Dale are well-meaning but utterly without social awareness and generally clumsy in their attempts to speak to others. The group of friends is young and dumb and after hearing the massacre story, along with other hillbilly stereotypes, are convinced that Tucker and Dale mean to do unspeakable things to them. Caught in the cycle of misunderstanding and misinterpretation caused by ignorance and prejudice the friends try to rescue their friend Allison while trying to kill the “evil” Tucker and Dale.
Unfortunately for the group, they are quite incompetent at this and their plans lead to gruesome conclusions for some and improbable but equally gruesome accidents for others. The college kids seeing only part of what has happened are whipped into a frenzy of panic and fear which doesn’t end well as the story moves on. Revealing the truth about the Memorial Day Massacre leads to a bloody showdown where the friends must band together to face the evil from all those years ago.
Tucker and Dale is a fantastic story that combines many elements of different films and weaves them together into a thrilling patchwork. As the characters only get some pieces of the story they are forced to let their imagination fill the rest and this leads to fear and ignorance is the biggest antagonist of the story. Whilst the viewer can see the interpretations from the point of view of Tucker and Dale and can see that they are a well-meaning, albeit clumsy duo; however, it is the ignorance of the group that assumes, because Tucker and Dale are “Rednecks” they must be dangerous.
The series of misunderstandings are compounded by these strange “worst-case scenario” type accidents and as the group of college friends witnesses only part of this, the horror of what they see clouds their ability to think objectively.
Directed by Eli Craig, in his directorial debut, the film brings together elements of Deliverance and Cabin in the Woods and uses these stereotypes to control the elements of the plot and its delivery. Viewers will be entertained by the movie from start to finish as it’s moments of humor and horror are well spaced and perfectly presented.