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 decrepit cabin and begin repairing it. Nearby in the woods, Chad tells a story about the "Memorial Day Massacre", a hillbilly attack which took place 20 years ago. The college kids go skinny-dipping where Tucker and Dale are fishing, and Allison, startled, hits her head. Tucker and Dale save her, but her friends think she was kidnapped. When Allison wakes up in Tucker and Dale's cabin the next day, she is initially scared but befriends the two hillbillies. 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 takes a chainsaw to a log, only to anger bees nesting inside. He frantically runs while waving around his chainsaw, which the college kids misinterpret as hostility. They scatter through the woods, and Mitch accidentally impales himself on a broken tree. After finding Mitch's body, Chad persuades the others that they are in a battle for survival. Alison's friends follow Tucker and Dale back to their cabin and see Allison helping out with construction of an outhouse, but they assume she is digging 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 wood chipper. 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 and accidentally kills himself, and Chuck accidentally kills himself with the sheriff's gun. Chad reappears and attempts to shoot Tucker and Dale but only manages to capture Tucker, whom he ties upside down to a tree. Chad then tortures Tucker and cuts Tucker's fingers. He then sends a message to Dale to come and get Tucker.
Dale leaves to rescue Tucker while Chad and Naomi return to the cabin to save Allison. When Allison tries to explain the situation, they accuse her of having Stockholm syndrome. Tucker and Dale return, and Allison attempts to lead a calm discussion. Chad says his grandmother told him that his father was killed in the Memorial Day Massacre, and his mother was the lone survivor. Jason and Chloe break in to save everyone, and a fire breaks out. Tucker, Dale, and Allison escape; Naomi, Chloe and Jason die, and Chad, insane and scarred, vows revenge. After a car crash, an injured Tucker tells Dale that Chad has taken Allison to an old sawmill, where he forcibly kisses her. Dale rescues Allison, and the two barricade themselves inside an upstairs office, where they discover news clippings that reveal Chad's father to be the killer and rapist, not one of the victims. Chad becomes enraged, and Dale stops his attack by throwing a box of chamomile tea at Chad, which triggers a severe asthma attack. Chad convulses and falls out the window, apparently to his death.
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.
Tyler Labine as Dale Dobson
Alan Tudyk as Tucker McGee
Katrina Bowden as Allison
Jesse Moss as Chad
Chelan Simmons as Chloe
Philip Granger as Sheriff
Brandon Jay McLaren as Jason
Christie Laing as Naomi
Travis Nelson as Chuck
Alex Arsenault as Todd
Adam Beauchesne as Mitch
Joseph Allan Sutherland as Mike
Karen Reigh as Cheryl
Tye Evans as Chad's Dad
The film's director, Eli Craig, and his wife Sasha have brief roles as a cameraman and reporter respectively.
The production began in June 2009 with the casting of the actors. Principal photography started one month later in Calgary, Alberta. In October 2009, post production ensued in British Columbia, and the first images were released as part of the American Film Market. On 31 October 2009, the first trailer was released.
Box office Edit
The film premiered on 22 January 2010 at Sundance Film Festival and was on 12 March 2010 part of the SXSW Film Festival. The movie was distributed by Magnolia and received a limited theatrical release in the US on 30 September 2011. On its opening weekend, the film grossed $52,843 from 30 theaters. Domestic gross currently stands at $223,838, with foreign gross adding $4,525,678, bringing the worldwide gross to $4,749,516.
Critical response Edit
Tucker and Dale vs. Evil received positive reviews from critics and has a "certified fresh" score of 84% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 96 reviews with an average rating of 6.8 out of 10. The critical consensus states "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". The film also has a score of 65 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 23 critics indicating "generally favorable reviews".
Todd Gilchrist of Shock Till You Drop wrote, "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 cliches". Noel Murray of The A.V. Club rated it C+ and called it "surprisingly clever" but "too slick and too cute". Dennis Harvey of Variety wrote that the film "offers good-natured, confidently executed splatstick whose frequent hilarity suffers only from peaking too early."