The Cottage (2008) Review
Written by: BlackTequilaKiss
This movie has been a curiosity to me since I first watched it. I have been through many emotions with this film, from irritation to a gradual love for the film. So believe me when I say, that if you do not like this film already, don't worry, time is the greatest factor here.
Maybe half the reason it took me so long to understand and like this movie is because the way the first half plays out and then how much it switches once in the centre of the film. The first time I really disliked it but as time as pressed on I have grown to love this movie more and more.
Enjoyable, wild, dark and a heck of ride this film is definitely worth at least one watch.
Storyline: In a remote part of the countryside, a bungled kidnapping by two brothers, David and Peter, begins to unravel before their eyes. However the worst is not over yet as the brothers, their kidnap victim and someone trailing them finds themselves crossing paths with a psychopathic farmer. Now the quiet countryside has turned into a bloody playground. Who will survive the trip and who will wish they had stayed in the city?..
I think if there is one thing this movie does right, is giving us a rather intimate and deep insight into the characters before the carnage begins. Therefore we actually understand, care and have some compassion for those characters who will end up on the sharp side of the psychopath's pickaxe. Taking the time to draw the whole of each character was a rather refreshing and different take.
This is where another strength announced it. The acting of the four main protagonists. Reece Shearsmith (playing Peter) was a fun character. He was obviously under thumb throughout much of the film and afraid of his own shadow, it was not until things truly became scary he actually began to exert some confidence. He was a sweet, naive and unassuming character and Sheersmith really showed his mettle in a role that suited him particularly well.
Andy Serkis (as David: Also in, KING KONG, LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY, THE PRESTIGE and DEATHWATCH) now I adore this guy! He has a recognisable face, a well renowned voice and when he acts, he makes all else pale in comparison. His acting is unique be it by voice or himself in general and I enjoy watching him. He has a range and diversity that he bring to a role and a dark determination to this particular character. Gritty and tough, he was fantastic.
Jennifer Ellison (playing Tracey), good looking gal, irritating voice LOL! She is fantastic and on some basic level as Tracey she was a lot of fun; feisty, loud and honest, hell the kick to the nuts was fantastic but she was annoying at times.
I did enjoy the scene where she goads the killer into killing someone else. And it goes back on her. For all her incessant shouting at the killer to kill one of the guys and seeing the actual killer becoming more and more bothered by her and then him deciding to turn back on the guy and kill her instead just to stop her talking/ shouting. The spade through her mouth, right through her head just plain, 'gob smack!', awesome!
The score starts off in a eerie yet gangster themed tone, then slows to an halt as we get to know the characters, then in the last half an hour it takes a vintage horror theme. Dark, broody and creepy it empathises everything that the movie wants from the schlock horror to the way it draws inspiration from previous horror films. Awesome!
There are truthfully quite a few things to admire about this film, the cinematography is rather delicious and the gore is a throwback to previous movies of this genre. Yes, the cinema... is delicious. Using the background of countryside with ominous, dark clouds pitched in the sky, a cottage in the mid of nowhere that in darkness is creepy yet beautiful when glowing with the tender flame of candles. Low budget but not low in heart it is done extremely well.
Then there is once against the most knowing factor you do get with some horror films and that of course is the visual/ special effects catered to the gore section. Truthfully? It looked brilliant, ok so there were some points where you could tell it was rather hokum but given that it was all in good gory fun and not trying to be serious I had no issue with it. You want heaps of gore with a generous lashing of blood, then you are in for a treat!
I must add the killer looked mightily fine! :D
It is a curiosity, The Cottage seems to begin one particular concept and then switch to another half way through, therefore you need to be a diligent person who respects the sudden change of circumstances, if you can do that then you will like this.
Merging dark Black humour with a kidnapping, then disgustingly entertaining deaths, it all fits into a rather strange film which manoeuvres between a normal kidnapping plot and quickly becomes a sadistic, horror fest. A mixture of both, the first time you see this it might not appeal to you. It didn't for me. It took multiple viewings and a fresh mind to finally respect and understand why this movie does work and why it is loved.
Do I love this entirely? Time will tell, I am still learning about this movie and it's journey into horror territory but helped by a loving cast and wonderful story I think eventually I will accept this is a film I can love. Do I recommend it to the HM lovelies? Maybe, I think it is a film that needs to be seen at least, just so you know if it really is your cup of tea or not.
Sit back, relax and settle down.
Wait!! What was that sound in the attic..? ;) ....
*Created for and by Monkey Lovers, this review's for you Azathoth!*