(On Cable TV, October 2013) Oh, we’ve seen this movie before: College kids go deep in the wood for a weekend party, meet creepy hillbillies and numerous deaths ensue. But the scenario is familiar enough to have spawned parodies, and after The Cabin in the Woods, here’s Tucker and Dale vs Evil, which follows two good-natured rednecks on a weekend outing as they find themselves attacked by college kids following an escalating series of accidents and misunderstandings. Tyler Labine and Alan Tudyk star as the unlucky pair of heroes, bringing a good-natured charm to already-sympathetic roles. But the star of the film really is the script, which manages to balance a tricky mixture of gore, comedy, trope inversion and self-aware idiot plotting. It works, even though there is a moment around the half-way mark where it seems as if the premise runs thin and the gory deaths become a bit too gory for the comedy: Tucker and Dale vs Evil knows what it’s doing, and there’s considerable amusement in seeing would-be antagonists and protagonists switching roles. Writer/director Eli Craig’s script isn’t bad, and the entire film is a great deal sweeter than anyone could have expected. (That’s not entirely good, as the largely-useless final scene suggests.) Of course, as with The Cabin in the Woods (which you can now purchase as a recommended double-feature DVD with Dale and Tucker vs Evil), this is a film that is perhaps best appreciated by those who are aware of the whole “hillbilly horror” subgenre, and who can stomach often-excessive amount of gore with their comedy.