The Cottage Review
by Phillip Wilcox "Our Movie Demon"
If someone came up to me and asked me what I could tell them about what the movie The Cottage was about in one sentence, I think I could have the confidence to do so. I would say: It's about rotten situation that continually gets worse, out of control, and funny all at the same time. To further elaborate - during the beginning credit sequence, the score is telling you right off the bat what kind of a crazy ride you're going to be taking with its Danny Elfman-like energy and melodies. The movie you're about to watch is gonna be unhinged and with some silliness attached! Which completely caught me off guard as I was fooled by its poster art, which gave me the feeling that I was in for some horrific shit. I mean don't get me wrong, it definitely has a major horror element injected within the genetic makeup of the picture. But the poster gave the impression that I was going to see a serious horror flick. Nuh uh!
This little tale is about a kidnapping that goes horribly awry when the two brother duo kidnappers, David & Peter (Andy Serkis, who is most notably famous for his performance capture work in such films like Peter Jackson's King Kong, The Lord Of The Rings as Gollum, and Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes; and Reece Shearsmith, known for being in Shaun Of The Dead & High-Rise) kidnap a young woman named Tracey (Jennifer Ellison) who causes them more problems than she is cooperative. They take her to a cottage out in a town in the middle of nowhere to hold up until they collect their ransom. And not only must they deal with her, but there are some very bizarre and deadly things happening in the area they're held up in. From there things begin to unravel and get more and more out of control! And there are some definite factors that undoubtedly work in favor of this movie --
The first factor is the chemistry between all of the actors; especially between Serkis & Shearsmith! They do bring out this brotherly chemistry that make their performances believable! Through all of the bickering and teasing, Serkis' David is more put together, driven and even smarter. While Shearsmith's Peter is more of the nerdy, neurotic and timid one of the two. Which when those two characterizations clash together and feed off one another, it makes for some very humorous and entertaining moments through out the film! And then you throw in Jennifer Ellison's feisty Tracey and you got yourself one hell of a partay! Don't worry, that's how I meant to spell that word. Anyway, Ellison plays her kidnapped victim full of moxy and charm, that with only 8 acting credits to her name, that's more than sufficient to keep me interested in seeing what other acting roles she takes on in the future! And I can't even finish writing about the actors without mentioning the fact that the one and only Doug Bradley has a cameo role in this flick! Huh? What's that you say? You don't know who Doug Bradley is? If you enjoy the horror genre and don't know who he is then shame on you! But ok I give, I'll tell you who he is. If you've ever seen any of the Hellraiser movies, he plays the famous and infamous Pinhead character. That being said, he did a great job in his cameo and it was like a breath of fresh air seeing him play in a somewhat normal role that didn't require him to have heavy make up!
The Cottage was a delightfully grisly dark comedy that clearly had fun with itself and didn't take anything too seriously! An amalgamated genre flick jam packed with enough funny bits to keep you entertained to the very last second and increasingly bubbling moments of gory goodness infused in all the right spots!
Writer/Director: Paul Andrew Williams
Starring: Andy Serkis, Reece Shearsmith, Jennifer Ellison, Steven O'Donnell, Doug Bradley, Dave Legeno
Running Time: 1 hour 32 minutes
How It Can Be Seen: VOD Platforms