Tucker & Dale vs. Evil

Clever horror-comedy has decent message underneath gore.
  • Review Date: September 30, 2011
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 89 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Despite all of the blood and carnage, the movie's main theme is "never judge a book by its cover," as it turns the old "evil hillbilly" horror movie cliche on its ear. A city girl learns to look past a man's rough exterior and see the kind, decent person he is inside. Characters also attempt to work together to solve problems and resolve conflict.

Positive role models

Dale shows intelligence, kindness, and courage throughout the story, even when his best friend picks on him and talks down to him.


Lots of horror movie violence, including bashed-in and bloody heads, saw blades to the face, a machete to the throat, a teen stabbed by a branch, a teen chewed up in a wood-chipper, a shovel to the face, nails through the head, gunshot to the face, severed fingers, an explosion, and gallons of blood and gore.


A teen girl strips down to her underwear to swim. Teens kiss and are definitely thinking about sex. Lots of sexual humor and innuendo.


Strong language includes "f--k," "s--t," "p---y," "bitch," "a--hole," "hell," "goddamn," "Jesus" (as an exclamation), "crap," and "dickwad," plus the middle finger gesture.


One mention of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Teens drink beer and smoke pot while on their "vacation," though this isn't depicted as regular behavior. They also drink while driving. The hillbillies also drink beer, though all drinking stops when the violence starts.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this horror comedy takes one of the genre's most typical cliches and turns it upside down: In this movie, the hillbillies are the good guys, and the college kids who go camping to drink and have sex are the bad guys. Despite this "don't judge a book by its cover" theme, the movie still has tons of gore, blood, and violence, as several teens are (accidentally) killed in gruesome ways. Language is strong, and includes "f--k" and "s--t." Teens are definitely thinking about sex, and there's some sexual innuendo and partial nudity (underwear shots).

What's the story?

Like many horror movies, TUCKER & DALE VS. EVIL opens with a carload of college students looking for a good time in the woods; there's also the ominous foreshadowing with the creepy, local hillbillies. But this time, the hillbillies -- Dale (Tyler Labine) and Tucker (Alan Tudyk) -- are good-hearted souls who just want to spend some quality time in their new "vacation home" (i.e. a ramshackle cabin, formerly belonging to a serial killer). After an accident, pretty blond Allison (Katrina Bowden) winds up in Dale's care, but her shallow, short-sighted friends suspect foul play. Before long, grisly deaths start to occur ... but are they random accidents, or is there something more sinister going on?

Is it any good?


Director/co-writer Eli Craig makes his feature debut with this simple, ingenious idea: Why are hillbillies always so nasty and evil in horror movies? What if they're really good folks, and the college students are the awful ones? The movie takes this idea and runs all the way with it, allowing audiences to catch on at their own pace. 

Most of the movie's success comes from Labine and Tudyk's lead performances; the actors conjure up an appealing combination of smart, dumb, and sweet, and have a believable friendship. There's also a visceral thrill in the outrageous deaths, each so hilariously implausible that it's shocking. The characters' deadpan reactions to the situation elevate the humor all the more. Although the movie isn't as endlessly engaging as something like Shaun of the Dead, it's still an all-around winner.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the movie's violence. Is it realistic, or cartoonish? How does that affect its impact? Why does some movie violence make audiences laugh?

  • Have you ever judged a book by its cover? Does this movie make you think about that, or is it too humorous to be taken seriously?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:September 30, 2011
DVD release date:November 29, 2011
Cast:Alan Tudyk, Katrina Bowden, Tyler Labine
Director:Eli Craig
Studio:Magnet Releasing
Run time:89 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:bloody horror violence, language and brief nudity

This review of Tucker & Dale vs. Evil was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 15 years old Written bylikestowatchmovies June 13, 2012
age 13+

good message

it violent but in a comedic way and it has a very good message at the end
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Adult Written bydarthsitkur October 28, 2014
age 15+

it's so hilarious lol

tucker and dale vs evil is extremely funny, I laughed out loud numerous times lol
Teen, 15 years old Written byYpseru March 25, 2014
age 15+

Funny, but bloody

This is an excellent, but bloody movie. It has a very good message about trying to say positive things, not negative, and messages about you are more handsome than you think you are. Although it has this great message, there is a bit of profanity (not loads of it, but an occasional thing here and there), and violence. Although there's only one character that is actually violent, yet he never really kills anyone. The only killing is really just one mistake after another, such as not looking where you're running and impale yourself on a branch. People are seen drinking and driving. And finally, some casual flirting. So really, a great message, that's pretty funny. 15+. Also, there's a lot of death that, if you think about it, is kind of funny. I don't think young kids should be exposed to this kind of humor.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much swearing


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