May 28th, 2008 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Films |
The Cottage is a British comedy horror film, written and directed by Paul Andrew Williams. It stars Andy (Gollum, Gollum) Serkis, The League of Gentleman’s Reece Shearsmith and the buxom Jennifer Ellison as token eye candy. Apparently Ellison’s character was originally meant to be a 40 years old woman but was changed to a young hottie to make sure the film achieved maximum sales.
The story concerns 2 very different brothers, Serkis’ hard-man and brains of the outfit David, and Shearsmith’s wet lettuce of an accomplice Peter. It’s clear from the off that the brothers have a very strained relationship to begin with and Peter is extremely upset he has now been dragged into David’s seedy world of crime and corruption. Their crime? The kidnapping of a local crime boss Arnie’s daughter Tracey to be held for ransom for the huge sum of £100,000.
Now it’s obvious that Peter isn’t cut out for this kind of work. Highlighted when the foul mouthed Tracey attempts to escape and beats Peter to a pulp with her hands, literally, tied behind her back. Unfortunately the third crime partner in this escapade, the victim’s stepbrother Andrew, is even more incompetent than Peter. Andrew was supposed to deliver the ransom but instead unwittingly brings a bag of tissues and the crime lord’s knife wielding henchmen in tow.
David’s realisation that he to is a fool for using 2 complete idiots as business partners comes too late. As his pathetic plan slowly slips out of control the hostage escapes in to the woods where things suddenly take a turn for the even worse.
This is a film of two halves really. The first half is a comedy crime heist gone wrong with witty one-liners that will have you chuckling with delight. The second introduces a deranged killer and some good gore shots where the comedy becomes more physical and slap stick. Therein lies its problem.
I really enjoyed the first half and what I can only describe as the worst ransom negotiating attempt ever. Serkis and Shearsmith are absolutely hysterical bouncing off each other with great comic timing. Both characters work well as complete opposites, each infuriated with the others attitude. There’s no horror involved, unless of course you count when Reece Shearsmith’s moth-phobic character gets stuck in a room full of the little winged devils, but the film rollocks along at an entertaining pace.
The second half of the film is quite unusual and doesn’t quite work as intended. The audience has spent so long laughing at the catastrophic criminal cock-ups that we’re incapable of being scared by any of the horror. I’m too busy waiting for the next gag to be able to feel any of the main characters fears. The film is still funny in places but it now comes as standard that modern horrors will try to outwit each other with amusing and inventive deaths. The Cottage offers nothing new on it’s limited budget and originality eventually runs dry.
Dont let any of the negatives put you off. As a comedy this film is a success! The next in a good line of recent comedy horror Brit flicks such as Severance (2006) and the legendary Shaun of the Dead (2004).
Watch it for laughs and you’ll thoroughly enjoy every minute as the script and acting has some great comedy moments but don’t expect to be scared or you’ll be severely disappointed. Overall a highly respectable 8/10.
by Ghastly McNasty
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