This is what taking a chance on movies is all about! What a really fun movie. This achieves what not many movies can do: Blending black humor seamlessly with horror and gore (only SHAUN OF THE DEAD & AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON and DOGHOUSE immediately come to mind). It’s a shame the DVD cover gives away that this is a horror movie because if you didn’t know anything about THE COTTAGE you would definitely be caught off guard when the movie shifts into “horror gear.” It starts off with our “heroes” David and Peter (Andy Serkis and Reece Shearsmith) screwing up a kidnapping; they abducted the daughter of a mob boss in London (Tracey, played by Jennifer Ellison) with hopes of getting a huge ransom. But to their surprise Tracey is a raunchy, foul-mouthed pain in the ass who doesn’t take shit from anyone. She’s a great character who brings one kidnapper to tears with a barrage of insults that would make Lisa Lampanelli blush and then brings the other to tears by beating the crap out of him. Good times with enough dark humor and gore (there’s tons of it) to satisfy even the most jaded horror goer.
As the bumbling kidnappers keep making their situation worse and worse, they end up at the titular cottage and the movie suddenly becomes a full-fledged, hardcore slasher pic that takes no prisoners. Nothing is held back once the carnage begins. And as an added bonus we actually get a killer who is scary as hell! No Krueger-esque puns and one-liners from this killer. He just stalks and kills with extreme savagery. Not for the faint of heart once the blood and gore begins. I loved everything about this. The characters are likable (even though they are, in the case of the guys, bumbling idiots, and in the case of the girl, a bitch); the gore is terrific; the “stalk and slash” is suspenseful; and the main girl, despite her foul mouth, is a freakin’ hottie (wait to you see how they finally shut her up). It’s these rare finds that makes it worthwhile taking chances on smaller, unknown movies. Can’t wait to see what writer-director Paul Andrew Williams comes up with next. Don’t miss this one.
Director: Paul Andrew Williams (and writer)
Plot: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Gore: 7 out of 10 skulls
Zombie Mayhem: 0 out of 5 brains
Reviewed by Scott Shoyer