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A group of college students, including Allison (Katrina Bowden), Chad (Jesse Moss), Chloe (Chelan Simmons), Chuck (Travis Nelson), Jason (Brandon Jay McLaren), Naomi (Christie Liang), Todd (Alex Arsenault), Mitch (Adam Beauchesne) and Mike (Joseph Allan Sutherland), are going camping in West Virginia. While at a gas station, they meet Tucker (Alan Tudyk) and Dale (Tyler Labine) two well-meaning hillbillies who have just bought the vacation home of their dreams: a run-down lakefront cabin in the middle of the woods. Dale tries to talk to Allison but because of his inferiority complex and appearance, he only scares her and her friends.
Tucker and Dale soon continue to their run-down, derelict cabin. The two are delighted in their new home despite structural hazards resulting from the building's state of disrepair. Meanwhile, in the nearby woods, the college students have set up camp. Chad tells everyone a story recounting an event known as the "The Memorial Day Massacre," which took place twenty years previously in the same section of the woods, leaving only one survivor. Soon after, the group decide to go skinny dipping in a nearby lake. Also on the lake are Tucker and Dale who are fishing. Allison spots them, and startled, falls into the water and hits her head. Tucker and Dale save her, but the college kids think Allison is being kidnapped.
The next day, Allison wakes up in Tucker and Dale's cabin. At first scared, she befriends Dale and finds the pair are harmless. The college kids arrive at the cabin to save Allison from her "captors", whom they presume to be psycho killers. Chuck leaves in his dad's car to retrieve help from the police. As Mitch approaches the cabin, Tucker appears frantically waving a chainsaw after accidentally hitting a bees nest. The college kids scatter through the woods, resulting in Mitch accidentally impaling himself on a broken tree. Soon after, the college kids find his body, and Chad persuades the others they are in a battle to survive with the hillbillies. Meanwhile, Tucker and Dale set out to find the kids, but fail to do so. The college kids return to the cabin, to see Allison being forced to dig her own grave, when in truth she is helping Dale dig an outhouse pit. The college kids attack, however in their attempts Allison is knocked unconscious, Todd is impaled and Mike jumps head first into a woodchipper.
Tucker and Dale lock themselves in their cabin with an unconscious Allison, as they believe the college kids have made a suicide pact. Meanwhile, the college kids decide they should either leave or get help from the police, but Chad remains certain they must fight the hillbillies themselves. Despite this, Chloe manages to flag down a passing police car, driven by the Sheriff (Philip Granger) with Chuck. Chloe, Jason and Naomi get in and travel to the cabin. After arriving, the Sheriff inspects the place before leaning against an unsteady beam which falls and kills him. The college students panic, resulting in Chuck shooting himself in the face. Chad appears and attempts to shoot Tucker and Dale, but only manages to capture Tucker.
Dale leaves to rescue Tucker and finds him in a trap in the forest. At the cabin, Chad and Naomi arrive to save Allison, who insists everything is a misunderstanding and Tucker and Dale don't mean any harm. However, they accuse Allison of having Stockholm syndrome. Tucker and Dale arrive back, and Allison attempts to calmly discuss the situation, leading to Chad revealing his mother was the survivor of The Memorial Day Massacre, while his dad was killed by hillbillies which is why he hates them. Outside, Jason and Chloe suspect that the rest of their friends have been captured and so attack with a lawn mower, resulting in Naomi having her face shredded off. As a fight breaks out, Jason is set on fire. As the fire spreads, Allison, Tucker and Dale escape, but Chloe and Chad remain inside as a stockpile of fuel cans explode. Chad reveals himself to still be alive, but persistent to murder Tucker and Dale. Allison, Tucker and Dale attempt to escape in a truck, but the crash it moments after.
Awakening some time later, Dale finds an injured Tucker who reveals Chad has taken Allison to an old sawmill. Dale travels to the sawmill and finds Allison restrained by an insane Chad. Dale fights with Chad, before Allison and Dale barricade themselves inside a room and find old news clippings on the Memorial Day Massacre and the truth about Chad's father; Chad's father was never murdered as he was in fact the Memorial Day killer who raped his mother, making Chad half hillbilly. Chad becomes enraged over the truth, forcing Dale to attack Chad with a box of chamomile tea which gives him an allergic reaction and he falls out of a window.
Afterward, the police and news crew arrive at the cabin and conclude the college students were in a suicide pact and Chad was the ringleader. While convalescing in the hospital, Tucker asks Dale whether he managed to ask Allison on a date and is happy to hear the two of them are going ten-pin bowling. Later that night at the bowling alley, the two confess their feelings for each other and kiss.
- Alan Tudyk as Tucker
- Tyler Labine as Dale
- Katrina Bowden as Allison
- Jesse Moss as Chad
- Chelan Simmons as Chloe
- Philip Granger as Sheriff
- Brandon Jay McLaren as Jason
- Christie Laing as Naomi
- Travis Nelson as Chuck
- Alex Arsenault as Todd
- Adam Beauchesne as Mitch
- Joseph Allan Sutherland as Mike
- Karen Reigh as Cheryl
- Tye Evans as Chad's Dad
- Bill Baksa as BJ Hillbilly
- Shaun Tisdale as Killer Hillbilly #2
- Sasha Craig as News Reporter
The production began in June 2009 with the casting of the actors. Principal photography started one month later in Calgary, Alberta. In October 2009 post production ensued in British Columbia and released first images as part of American Film Market.On 31 October 2009, the first trailer was released.
Despite a limited release, Tucker & Dale vs Evil was universally well received by critics. The film holds a rating of 87% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 86 reviews stating "Like the best horror/comedies, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil mines its central crazy joke for some incredible scares, laughs, and -- believe it or not -- heart".
Todd Gilchrist wrote that "Eli Craig's feature debut celebrates genre conventions while turning the traditional view of horror-movie heroes and villains upside down."
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