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But they don’t really get it. Instead, Tucker & Dale Vs Evil chooses to play up the comedy, thanks to writer-director Eli Craig’s very good script. It’s a screenplay that accepts and warms to the trappings of a horror movie, and then has a great deal of fun playing with them. Thus, when a bunch of students turn up in the middle of the woods, things don’t quite go the way that many will be expecting.
It’s odd that Tucker & Dale Vs Evil never really secured itself the broader theatrical exposure it deserves, because it’s a really smart film. Granted, it’s bereft of outright movie stars, but the pairing of Tudyk and Labine proves inspired, and Craig is wise enough to keep his running time nice and tight.
Tucker & Dale Vs Evil is far from the most ambitious film of recent times. But it’s certainly one of the funniest. It throws in the necessary gore quotient expected by fans of the horror genre, but delivers far more solid laughs that its relative anonymity might lead you to expect. It’s pretty much the epitome, then, of an undercover gem. --Jon Foster