Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Best of British - The Cottage

"The children have found a young man tied up in the Barn.
He had no face"
That's not good...

"The Cottage is a relentless dark comedy with an extreme twist. Bickering brothers David (Andy Serkis) and Peter (Reece Shearsmith) kidnap Tracey (Jennifer Ellison) in a desperate moneymaking scheme and hide out in a remote cottage from her ganglord father. However, feisty Tracey turns the tables on her bungling captors and escapes into the woods with Peter as her hostage. Only this land belongs to a maniacal farmer and he doesn't like trespassers... Cue a grotesquely comic battle for survival - who will survive and what will be left of them?

Ever since I saw the poster for this it intrigued me. Obviously British, judging by the three stars, and with a thick band of black humour running through it judging by the comically macabre expressions on display. Unfortunately it seemed to come and go without me realising and it was only recently that I got a chance to savour it's foul mouthed farmyard horror shenanigans.
The Cottage is having alot of fun with itself and is similar in some ways to Dusk Till Dawn in the sense that it's narrative is split evenly between two genres, the gangster flick and the horror flick. But whereas Dusk had Tarantino cool gangsters as it's inspiration, The Cottage is more Guy Ritchie does Ealing Studios with it's mix of incompetant ne'er do wells and it's generous dose of salty language (mostly thanks to Jennifer Ellison who really seems to be having alot of fun). How Danny Dyer escaped a role in this movie is beyond me however.
"Awww, Sid..."

Unfortunately this first act seems to play out a little longer than I would have liked and as enjoyable as it is to watch the talents of Andy Sirkis I had trouble maintaining interest when we know that their should be some horror a-happening. Thankfully things take a lovely turn for the creepy when the action shifts from the cottage to the farm, though unfortunately the tension is shortlived as we are quickly onto the bloodshed!

Head's in the Shed

The film was lovely and gruesome with plenty of carnage, but while the first act seemed to linger too long on the bungled kidnapping the third act carnage is upon you alot quicker than I would have liked. I'd have preferred a quicker introduction to the creepy farm, more poking around Scooby Doo style and then the blood letting arriving at around the same point, and I fear that it is that unbalanced storytelling which let's the movie down. This is a real shame as the UK really doesn't have a good slasher movie under it's belt and this could have been a contender given a stronger hold on the storytelling reins. It's creepy, it's gory and it has a kickass killer.

"Jesus Mother of Fuck"