The Cottage is a 2008 British darkly comic horror film, written and directed by Paul Andrew Williams. It stars Andy Serkis (Lord of the Rings), Reece Shearsmith (Shaun of the Dead) and Jennifer Ellison (Phantom of the Opera).
Two brothers, David and Peter (Andy Serkis and Reece Shearsmith), kidnap Tracey (Jennifer Ellison), the stepdaughter of Arnie, an underworld crime boss.
The pair hold her for ransom in a secluded country cottage. Things begin to go wrong when Arnie’s dimwitted son and stepbrother of Tracey, Andrew delivers the ransom. Instead of money, the bag is filled with napkins. David and Peter realize that not only have they been deceived, but Arnie knew about Andrew’s involvement in the scheme all along.
After Peter breaks David’s phone by accidentally dropping it in water, David goes down to the village to use a telephone box to call in another ransom. While there, he happens across some sinister locals who, upon learning that he and his companions are staying at the Barnarby Cottage, warn him to keep his doors locked and not to wander. Disturbed, David returns to the cottage to find that Tracey — who has proven to be highly intelligent and resourceful, albeit foul-mouthed and somewhat psychopathic — has incapacitated Andrew and abducted Peter.
Some distance away, Peter and Tracey arrive at an ominous looking farm. Upon entering the house, they soon discover it to be the home of an insane and hideously deformed serial-killer known only as the Farmer.
You might be interested to know that The Cottage received positive reviews, garnering a 71% certified “fresh” result on Rotten Tomatoes. As for my opinion, I have to say that I was actually rather pleasantly surprised.
As far as British movies go, and specifically British horror movies go, they are more often than not average films filled to the brim with vulgar language and not much else. Though obviously, it isn’t the most surprising scenario (a horror movie scenario) to hear colourful language. As you know, it’s tense, frightening and high adrenaline. But the Cottage is far more than that. It’s actually very watchable.
The movie sets the scene really well. You really get the feel of a traditional British backwater and the acting is pretty good, though I’ve always been a fan of Andy Serkis. Jennifer Ellison is truly irritating (in a good way) and in that regard, you find it quite easy to sympathise with the two brothers. She’s quite the pitbull, even if she is beautiful. But you do find yourself caring about the characters and in particular the dysfunctional relationship that the two brothers have.
As a comedy, it actually works really well with some laughs throughout the movie. And as for a gore movie, it also provides the wince-inducing moments that you would also expect. Some quite inventive too.
Overall score – B.
Watch the Trailer below: