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The Cottage
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The Cottage (2008)

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Plot Summary:
"The Cottage is a relentless dark comedy with an extreme twist. Set in a remote part of the countryside, a bungled kidnapping turns into a living nightmare for our four central characters when they cross paths with a psychopathic farmer and all hell breaks loose."

Review by
Ryan McDonald
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Review Date: 25 October 2009 My Rating: out of 5


Meek and stupid Reece Shearsmith and his thuggish and not much smarter brother Andy Serkis decide to kidnap the step-daughter (Jennifer Ellison) of Serkis’ criminally-inclined employer and hold her for ransom at a remote country house.

Unfortunately, the foul-mouthed (but busty!) Ellison is a real feisty customer, Serkis and Shearsmith are totally incompetent, and their accomplice Steve O’Donnell (the even more dim-witted son of the boss) immediately and unwittingly alerts his Dad to their scheme. Oh, and did I mention there’s a homicidal maniac on the loose? Pinhead himself, Doug Bradley turns up for a cameo, and there’s a nice surprise cameo at the end of the final credits (by an infamous, bald, Shakespearean actor), so stay tuned!

If Guy Ritchie and Peter Jackson ever collaborated on a remake of Hitchcock’s “The Trouble With Harry”, it might look a little like this 2008 horror-comedy from Paul Andrew Williams. This is quite hilarious stuff at times, a real pleasant surprise, and with a little tweaking I reckon it could ha’ve worked as an Aussie film, the humour is not all that different. Ellison is a particular scream as the horrible, and totally hostile kidnap victim, and it’s hard not to sympathise with her captors at times. She’s such a venomous cow!

It takes a little too long for the horror to arrive, perhaps (though when it does it comes with a bag of frozen peas. Don’t ask!), and Bradley’s cameo is a total head scratcher. However this is otherwise really amusing stuff, it’s the film the overrated and unlikeable “Shaun of the Dead” should have been but in my view wasn’t. The characters here are no more likeable than the ones in that film, but they are a lot more interesting and entertaining than the boring layabouts in “Shaun”. Serkis really ought to consider a career in horror films, he was clearly born for it, and could easily be the next Klaus Kinski or Donald Pleasence.

A fun horror comedy from Britain, with a little more emphasis on the comedy than the horror. At any rate, it’s worth a look just to see what a film starring both Pinhead and Gollum would be like.

Reviewer: Phil Davies Brown @horrorasylum
Location:Scotland, UK
Review Date: 28 April 2008 My Rating: out of 5

Andy Serkis, Reece Shearsmith and Jennifer Ellison star in this British horror comedy from director Paul Andrew Williams, about a botched kidnapping and the resulting terror that ensues as the kidnappers hide out at the titular location.

The film opens well and is quite funny and indeed enjoyable for the first half. Where it encounters problems is when the horror aspect is introduced.

Shearsmith is the stand out talent here and after him it’s Steve O’Donnell’s Andrew that provides the most laughs. Jennifer Ellison plays a slapper well and Serkis is just an average guy.

It’s a shame that the horror aspect didn’t work that well as The Farmer looks amazing and is a welcome addition to the horror bad guys hall of fame. He also has an interesting back-story and it’s in these revelatory scenes that Serkis is at his finest.

Incredibly gory and with brilliant practical effects work, The Cottage is sure to both impress and please gore hounds across the globe. When it’s funny it’s very funny, when it’s supposed to be scary it isn’t and that’s an unfortunate shame as this looked like it was going to be a standout horror effort for 2008.

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