December 19, 2011 -- This black comedy about a war in the woods between college kids and a couple of rednecks should not be funny, but it is, hilariously so. I've seen a number of these kinds of films lately, the latest being “The Last Circus” which tried to do something similar to this. Those didn't really work, but this genre slasher-comedy film works well.
The film starts out with a group of college kids heading into the woods for a kind of camping trip. They meet up with a couple of rednecks headed into the same part of the woods to fix up a kind of summer home. Tucker (Alan Tudyk of “310 to Yuma”) gives some bad advice to his shy friend, Dale (Tyler Labine of “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”). This results in Dale, who looks like Larry the Cable Guy approaching some pretty coeds laughing menacingly while holding a scythe.
The college kids take off, only to meet again at a lake where the pretty coeds are skinny dipping. One of them, Allison (Katrina Bowden) startled by the sight of Tucker and Dale, falls into the water and hits her head. She is rescued by Tucker and Dale, but the other college kids think she has been kidnapped and set off to rescue her. A series of misunderstandings leads to death as several college students die while running away, or towards Tucker and Dale. They think these people have been murdered by Tucker and Dale, while Tucker and Dale have no idea why these college kids are killing themselves on Tucker's property.
The situation continues to escalate as Tucker and Dale are drawn into a war with the increasingly desperate college students. One of the students in particular, Chad (Jesse Moss of “The Big Year”) is all too eager to attack Tucker and Dale. It turns out he has a history of violence. Most of these misunderstandings would be easily avoided by normal people. Some of these circumstances are silly, but that is what this movie is about, a situation that should never have happened. A lot of this has to do with stereotypical thinking and telling scary stories in the woods. Several scenes in the movie are inspired by the “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” movies.
Tucker and Dale and Allison are all good-natured characters, which helps make the comedy more acceptable. One funny scene has Allison, a psychology major, doing an intervention with both parties seated at a table, trying to get both sides of dispute to talk to each other. There is nothing very deep about this movie, but it is surprisingly funny for a slasher film. This film rates a B.
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