Tucker & Dale vs. Evil

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Tucker & Dale vs. Evil Movie Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Clever horror-comedy has decent message underneath gore.
  • R
  • 2011
  • 89 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 19 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

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 & Representations

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

Violence

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.

Sex

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

Language

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.

Consumerism

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.

What 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).

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byparentguider November 5, 2012

Great positive fun!

This movie is a funny very violently gory film that gives the positive message of don't judge a book by its cover. Kids will enjoy its goofyness and parent... Continue reading
Adult Written bymeydiana.rizki October 30, 2020

Very Funny, Gory with heart

Really entertaining twist on 'teens in the woods' horror flicks. Lots of laughs and buckets of blood. The actors playing Tucker and Dale are very comp... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byEwokRock August 29, 2017

One of the funniest parodies ever

This is acted well and this made me laugh more than I can recall another movie doing. The main characters of Tucker and Dale are nice and one of them (can'... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byCoolpool785 July 24, 2017

Horror/Comedy mix is clever but dark.

This is a great film, my favorite scene was the fight at the end, but has lots of blood and gore galore! Teens die by accidental suicide. A teen runs from one o... Continue reading

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 a 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.

Talk to your kids 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

Our editors recommend

For kids who love horror and comedy

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