How many horror/slasher films have been about college kids going camping, encountering hillbillies in the woods, and ending up dead? Now what if all that death was the college kids' fault? That's the premise of the cute indie cult comedy-horror flick Tucker & Dale vs. Evil.
As the spoiler-heavy trailer gives away, Tucker (Alan Tudyk, Wash on Firefly) and Dale (Tyler Labine, Sock from Reaper) are a pair of hillbillies heading to a ramshackle cabin in the woods that Tucker has bought as a vacation spot to fix it up. Encountering a group of college kids at a gas station, Dale attempts to chat up Allison (Katrina Bowden, Cerie on 30 Rock) but because of his shy awkwardness and low self-confidence, he ends up scaring the kids. (Perhaps it was the giant scythe he was holding at the time?)
That night they're fishing on the pond when the kids show up to go skinny dipping. They spy Allison stripping down, but she becomes aware of them and tumbles into the water, hitting her head. Dale rescues her, getting her into the boat, but the kids mistake their actions and their calling out, "We've got your friend," as an abduction and set out to rescue her, with catastrophic and hilarious consequences.
While the concept is simple and the execution predictable (and the trailer gives away half of the movie), Tucker & Dale vs. Evil coasts on a charm driven by Labine's guileless performance. He's a fuzzy puppy who wins over the girl while the popped collar preppie jerkbags operate on stereotypes and tales of previous hillbilly massacres. While gory, it's cartoonish and tasteful; if you can handle Evil Dead 2, this is cake.
Score: 7/10. Catch it on cable.