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The Cottage

November 17th, 2009 by unkle lancifer · 7 Comments

What would happen if you made a movie that was a ransom/heist comedy for an hour and then became a gory slasher movie for the last half hour? If you ask me, then you have just made a movie that is really boring for an hour and then only becomes good for the last half hour. Folks, have I ever introduced you to my friend THE COTTAGE? Yea, he’s not funny or interesting unless he’s in the mood and it takes him forever to get in the mood and then as soon as he gets in the mood he has to split. Sounds like a real blast right? It’s not that I only have love for slasher movies; I love all kinds of movies with the absolute exception of any movie that involves a heist gone wrong (DOG DAY AFTERNOON being of course, the exception to the rule.) I don’t care about your bag of money and I don’t care that your bag of money is full of tissues and not money. Maybe these movies appeal to those who spend their days daydreaming about stealing bags of money. My private fantasies would probably be better served by watching 2012.

The sad thing is, if you watch the deleted scenes on the DVD you come to the exasperating conclusion that once upon a time they had a whole movie here until somebody decided that the action should start at precisely the same moment people are walking out of the theater or reaching for the remote. Don’t be thinking that poor Unk does not get British humor and therefore this one flew over his head either, because that’s all kinds of wrong. Unk put the “feel ya” in Anglophilia and shoots Bovril out of his nostrils for everything from BENNY HILL to SEVERANCE (and is currently in love with PULLING.) I think FRENCH AND SAUNDERS impersonating BANANARAMA is the height of comedy so that ain’t it. This one just really missed my funny bone by a country mile. I guess I don’t even care if your bag of money has pounds in it.

If it seems I’m being a bit rough with THE COTTAGE it is only because when it makes an effort it really works. That last half hour is a GOOD movie. The gory slapstick comedy IS amusing and there is actual tension and you care when certain characters are off-ed. I guess what I’m feeling is the frustration of knowing that they had what it took and decided to be coy and stingy with it for as long as humanly possible. It’s sort of like when you break up with somebody and then they go out of their way to be the exact person you were begging them to be the whole time you were going out with them. It’s too MUCH rather than too little too late and now I just want THE COTTAGE like any and all exes, to walk into the nearest open manhole.

I may try this one again in the future, it may be a less aggravating experience if I go into it with the knowledge that I’m not going to be completely rebuffed by film’s end. In fact, now that I think of it there’s nothing stopping me from cutting away the fat and starting the flick an hour in. That kidnapping gone awry crap might be ace nail filing time but there are moments in THE COTTAGE that really do impress. As a whole it doesn’t really work but it does showcase the creepiest yellow kitchen I have ever seen in my life, not exactly your money’s worth but not a bag full of tissues either.

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7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 TaylorNo Gravatar // Nov 17, 2009 at 10:14 am

    I rented this a while back, and I think I agree with you about its weaknesses…If I could just remember what happened in it.  I just have this vague overall memory of being underwhelmed.  It’s a shame too, because I like the actors in it (well, I like Reece Shearsmith’s and Andy Serkis’s acting, and I just like looking at Jennifer Ellison), and the decription made it sound right up my alley, but alas…Forgotten.

    I just watched the same writer’s The Children, btw…you should check  it out.  It’s no Who Can Kill A Child?, but it’ll do.

  • 2 TaylorNo Gravatar // Nov 17, 2009 at 10:24 am

    Just looked it up on the site, and of course you’ve seen The Children.  Headslap.  I missed your review when you posted it though.

  • 3 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Nov 17, 2009 at 10:49 am

    Taylor,

    I really liked The Children a lot and I had no idea it was based on a story from the same writer, thanks for that info.
    I think the cottage had a pretty interesting idea as far as shifting gears so strongly so late in the game. I think it could have worked (I have always loved the sudden switch to full on horror in From Dusk to Dawn) but the bungling crook thing just seemed way too tired to carry the first part of the movie. Maybe if the box art had promised more of a dark comedy I would have been pleasantly surprised by the  shift. Instead the box art (at least here in the U.S) looks like a savage horror flick so that you are left twiddling your thumbs waiting for something to happen and everyone to stop acting so silly.
    So I admit my preconceived notions may have muddied the waters a bit here but still, the whole movie never really gels as much as it could have. What was the deal with that guy’s fear of moths? They set that whole bit up just to have him walk into a room full of them and then drop it? From what I can tell from all the deleted scenes, they were not really focused enough about anything as they were making this. Sometimes that leads to happy accidents but sometimes you end up with a bit of a mess. Still, scariest kitchen ever & I can certainly see this becoming a cult favorite for some.

  • 4 PropagatrixNo Gravatar // Nov 17, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    I had very high hopes for this when I Netflixed it, mainly because I have an enormous crush on Reece Shearsmith.  But those hopes were quickly dashed…what a waste, what a waste.  Better to watch the League of Gentlemen’s Christmas special for the 3,472nd time.

  • 5 PinchyNo Gravatar // Nov 18, 2009 at 3:34 am

    I must admit to being disappointed by this one as well.  I’d quickly become a Paul Andrew Williams fan primarily because of The Children and his superb film London To Brighton.  And with the added bonus of Reese Shearsmith and Andy Serkis, I was very much looking forward to seeing this.  Unfortunately it just didn’t deliver…but, to be honest, my expectations were probably a bit too high.

  • 6 SlasherChickNo Gravatar // Nov 18, 2009 at 9:19 am

    Awesome review – I nearly spewed coffee all over my PC screen laughing!
    The film does deserve an award, however…for the butt-fugliest kitchen I’ve ever seen.  I love the old fashioned stove, but what’s up with that scabby wall off to the right? Layers and layers of wrongness.

  • 7 ballpeenNo Gravatar // Nov 29, 2009 at 12:40 am

    Ahhh, The Cottage!  My beloved and I discovered this film on fearnet (or maybe it was crackle?) and, for what it was,  were pretty impressed with its “cheekiness” in the oh-so-delicate balance of mixing horror and comedie to make a decent and entertaining film.  You know, I’m always secretly tickled when characters’ deaths are more or less appropriate for their temperaments/personalities, e.g. the dangermouthy kidnapped stripper getting her head shoveled right through her talker; the “nice guy” brother getting the front half of his foot chopped off (still in the shoe!), so now he is not only intellectually but physically stumbling.  Hoo ha!  Funny!  The moths bit was pretty random to me at first, but I liked how it ended up playing out in the film, if for no other purpose than to see the nice guy brother (with the fakey shaved head male pattern baldness!) do his thing freaking out in the “moth room.”  There were also, to the movie’s credit, some really pretty shots for a scary movie– when the stripper’s brother is hiding from the killer by the stables, the scene is a long shot of the killer along an old cobblestone path, he is backlit and pauses to locate his next victim, his breath steaming out of him like a horse from hell… enter the doofus trying valiantly to get his cell phone to work to call daddy…  Not too shabby.

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