Isaacs Picture Conclusions

THE COTTAGE (2008) FIVE TOP HATS

Let me start off by writing that this is my favorite HORROR-COMEDY. This is different than regular HORROR. I probably don’t need to go any further than that, but this doesn’t compare to FROZEN, which doesn’t compare to KICK –ASS, for example.  If any movie actually scared me for a good minute, it’s THE SHINING. If any movie repulsed me it’s MARTYRS, etc. From the genre of EVIL DEAD(s), SHAUN OF THE DEAD, DEAD AND BREAKFAST, etc., this is my favorite (so far).  I have probably watched this about seven times and each time I still enjoy it. If I wait long enough and forget some of it, I enjoy it even more. Doing a web search on horror comedy, someone at about.com has his own list, and has this at number 16 with some questionable (IMO) choices ranked higher, leading up to Shaun of the Dead. I liked “SOTD”, but didn’t love it, like this. So, these top hats need to be taken into consideration that this is a different genre than most of the stuff I post about on our site. This movie is funny, gory, very well acted, very well organized, the sets were EXCELLENT, and, I mean, just overall awesome – to me. If you’re not in to British use of language / humor, a LOT of creative gore, nods to other films, rural-village-farmers-making-new-faces-for-themselves-a-la-Texas-Chainsaw-Massacre, then this might not be for you. Otherwise, if you think those things can be combined into a HORROR COMEDY, this one kicks ass.

Here is the DVD art I got, that doesn’t do the movie much justice:

Here is some alternate movie poster art I would have liked, that queued a very funny point in the movie (tag line: “WELCOME TO THE BLOODY COUNTRYSIDE”):

What’s the plot? The two guys above kidnap the girl above and take her to a remote cottage out in somewhere England where they plan to ransom her strip bar owning father for 100,000 Pounds. Mounted to the left is Peter, the feeble brother of the fellow mounted to the right, David. David works the strip club where the daughter, Tracey, frequents. David hatches a plan to kidnap Tracey, with the help of Peter (who can talk to the boss without voice recognition) so he can buy a boat and move out of Peter’s family’s house for good. The bag man is going to be Tracey’s completely inept brother in law Andrew. Furthering the plot, after the kidnapping and “the call”, the father is immediately on to them and sends out his “Yakuza” guys to put an end to it. Too bad, no one knows that, across the woods, is a ranch where lives The Farmer, a family-crazed, tractor-accident-deformed man who collects human beings to A: eat them and B: harvest them for food. The kills in this are creative, hilarious and very bloody (no CGI here). The dialogue and acting is hilarious.  The situations these characters are put in and the way they react (verbally and physically) are hilarious. And I can’t say enough about the details of the sets.  From the first cottage to the insane cottage, they really, really did well making these look the way they wanted. Stacks of newspapers, years worth of Christmas boxes, insane amount of collected tea cups, hands in the freezer, etc. I could type for an hour…

So – without going into too much eternal detail – Peter and David kidnap Tracey, who is a FOUL MOUTHED, ASS KICKING lady who is not taking this as the woeful victim, to say the least, which is very funny. Peter is, I say again, feeble and meek and afraid to death of moths (we have three very creative scenes involving this). David is the bad ass “leader” of the group who has to try and keep it together to get the money. Andrew is even more comedy relief – totally stupid, but lovable, of course.  They get her into the cottage where she fights back. The bag of money is tissues. Andrew bought the wrong mask. The electricity meter runs out. There are moths. They are staked out by the “Korean and Japanese” killers.  Their cell phones don’t work. There are weird villagers warning about  being killed. There are broken noses and jaws. This is all in the first half. In the second half we move to The Farmer’s cottage and get the ‘gore’ of the movie. Then we get The Farmer, twisted, murderous, face collecting, trying to (well, I won’t spoil it, but he has a motive).

I wish I could relay some of the funnier moments in this, but I can’t – you need to see it to recognize it. For instance there is a scene in The Farmer’s cottage where Peter is nursing his broken jaw with a bag of peas he casually grabbed from the freezer. He hears some movement from under the door in the floor. He screams. Tracey (upstairs) calls him some names and comes to his rescue (he is a grown man mind you). She opens the trap door – nothing there. She turns to berate him some more, does a triple take and says “Why are there hands in the freezer?” Pan to the open freezer door and there are dozens of green, moldy, severed hands.

To conclude: there is nothing wrong with this movie – but it might not be for you – if you are not into what I have tried to describe above. It’s funny, bloody, acted and made very well.  I’ll probably watch it again in about six months and be thoroughly entertained again.

One last thing, and I don’t give one care what the dude atabout.com thinks, but he includes Ghostbusters as NO. 5 on his list and Young Frankenstein at NO.2. To me, those aren’t horror-comedy, those are simply comedy.

My top ten would be:

The Cottage

Feast

Piranha 3-D

Return of the Living Dead

Night of the Creeps

Army of Darkness

Evil Dead 2

Shaun of the Dead

Dead Snow

Zombie Strippers

5 comments

  1. Pingback: Rapid Review: The Cottage (2008) | The Sporadic Chronicles of a Beginner Blogger

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