The Cottage (2008)

DVD Cover (Sony Home Entertainment)
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In a remote part of the countryside, a bungled kidnapping turns into a living nightmare for four central characters when they cross paths with a psychopathic farmer and all hell breaks loose. --IMDb
Review by Tristan
Added: May 15, 2008
Lately I've been watching nothing but foreign horror films which had few to no laughs, and were the biggest gorefests to hit shelves in awhile. I figured it was about time to watch some lighter fair, and for that I turned to the newly released The Cottage. If you're looking for a movie that is a perfect combination of horror and comedy, look no further. This is one of the best dark comedies I've seen since Severance, and I can't put enough emphasis on the word dark. It might not be the darkest comedy I've ever watched, but it certainly gives films like American Psycho and Man Bites Dog a run for their money.

In the middle of the night, two brothers arrive at a cottage in the middle of the countryside. They bicker and fight as brothers tend to do, until we discover that they've kidnapped the step daughter (Jennifer Ellison) of a prominent strip club in the nxt town. David (Andy Serkis)is the brains of the operation and has dragged his overly sensitive and cowardly brother, Peter, along for the ride. Their plan was simple, kidnap the girl, ask for $100,000, and have the bag delivered by the step brother of the hostage. It all seemed so very simple until the brother arrived with nothing but a bag of tissues. To make matters worse, the kidnapped girl managed to escape, taking Peter as a hostage of her own off into the woods. Sounds like your typical botched kidnapping movie, I know. That is until bodies start turning up. When David sets out to find his younger brother he is greeted by a blood soaked stranger, warning him to not go into the woods before he drops to the floor, intestines spilling this way and that. Now worried for his and his brother's safety, David must brave the dark woods to find out where his brother is, and just what the hell is going on outside the little cottage.

Once the opening credits rolled, I knew exactly what kind of movie Paul Andrew Williams had made. It sort of reminded me of Ravenous in a way, as the serious tone of the credits were jarred by the upbeat and almost carnival-like music. This theme carried throughout the entire movie, with several truly horrific scenes becoming very funny with the use of well placed music and visual gags.

I didn't know what to expect from Andy Serkis after only having seen him play a brief role in the King Kong remake. Turns out he's a damn fine actor, as he was the star of the picture. That's not to say that Reece Shearsmith didn't do his part as well. The constant banter between the two of them was very believable and hilarious, and more than once I had to back it up to either rewatch a great line, or pick up the stuff I missed from laughing so hard. Jennifer Ellison was equally funny, with her constant insults and horrible language. She was also pretty easy on the eyes, so overall she really had everything going for her.

I saw the trailer for this about a year ago, so I knew more or less what it would be about. It had the same feel as Shaun of the Dead, but with a slasher genre feel to it instead of a zombie film. The first two acts of the film set it up nicely with lots of humour and a bit of a hint for what's to come, so by the time the third act rolls around it's nonstop violence, blood, and laughs. This is a great formula for a movie, which is probably why I enjoyed it so much. For those of you who have seen Severance, you will know exactly what I'm talking about. The gore in this one was nothing to sneeze at, and more than once I found myself cringing when an unsuspecting kill came around.

Overall, this is a fantastic horror/comedy. It might not reach the same fan numbers as Shaun of the Dead or Dead Alive, but it will still find a home among the horror community. There's even a small cameo by Doug Bradley which while brief, is just one more little thing for us horror fans to smile about. It's entertaining on so many levels with its great acting and writing, and some really neat kills and special effects. I for one will definitely be purchasing this even though I've seen it twice already. Yes, it's that damn good.

grain of sand #1: grain of sand - added 05/16/2008, 02:12 AM
WHOA.. Gives American Psycho and Man Bites Dog a run for their money?....

I don't think this comes close to those classics, this was okay. I really enjoyed the chemistry between those two brothers and the shovel death was really fun.. But I felt like a lot more could have been done here.
I really liked Severance and don't think The Cottage comes close to the wit and class that it had, but The Cottage definitely has its qualities.. Entertaining and slightly funny, I don't remember laughing out loud once though.. 6/10
Chad #2: Chad - added 09/17/2008, 10:48 AM
Great movie. I went into it completely blind (didn't read reviews, didn't see the trailer, didn't know a thing about it), and I'm glad I did - plenty of surprises, and pleasant ones at that. 9/10.
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