The Cottage title

Tag line : Welcome to the bloody countryside.

The CottageA couple of bungling kidnappers, played by Andy Serkis (of Lord of the Rings fame) and Reece Shearsmith (who had a minor role in "Shaun of the Dead") get more than they bargained for when they abduct the hostage from hell, played by Jennifer Ellison (who you may remember used to be in "Brookside").

Hoping to exact a huge ransom, 100,000 to be precise, from her mobster step-father, they swipe her from her home and take her to a remote country cottage. Where she proceeds to make their lives as awkward as possible with her constant tirades of non-stop abuse.

With the money being despatched via her step-brother Andrew, played by Steve O'Donnel (that fat guy who used to advertise Sega Megadrives back in the early 90s), they think their problems are over. But what they don't realise is that her father knows that Andrew is also in on the kidnapping plot and has despatched a couple of heavies to sort them all out.

Things just go from bad to worse for the kidnappers when Tracey (Ellison) not only manages to escape, but forces Peter (Shearsmith) off with her at knifepoint. With David (Serkis) and Andrew chasing after them, things really get interesting when they stumble across a remote farmhouse in the woods, which happens to be the homestead of a psychotic-deformed farmer who likes making mincemeat of trespassers with the various bladed weapons he keeps in his tool shed.

Whilst the film proves fairly entertaining, offering some genuinely funny moments and  great one-liners, I felt that, sadly, it fell just short of the mark in both the horror and comedy aspects. The director was clearly attempting to send up slasher films in the same way "Shaun of the Dead" lampooned zombie movies (Reece Shearsmith also appears in both films), but doesn't really get the balance of horror and humour quite right.

That's not at all to say the film is a loss, but rather that it works better as a campy comedy and overall could have done with a bit faster pacing, as the horror aspect of the film really doesn't get going until about 50mins. Definitely worth checking out, but not quite in the same calibre as "Shaun of the Dead".

Overall marks : 5/10.

Terrifying Trivia.

  • The look of the killer farmer was loosely based on Jason from the 2nd Friday the 13th film (ie before he got the hockey mask).

  • The films budget was 2,500,000.

  • The director had originally intended the part of Tracy to be played by someone in their 40s, but the studios insisted he cast somebody younger.

  • During the scene were Doug Bradley makes a cameo appearance as the old man, he refers to the pet Rottweiler by the name "Thorn". This was the name of the dog in the film "The Lost Boys".

  • The chap who answers the door to the office in the nightclub was a friend of the director, however his voice was dubbed by Andy Serkis.

  • The vast majority of the film, including the actual cottage, was filmed in the Isle of Mann. However the farmhouse, seen later in the film, was in Yorkshire.

  • Originally the director had wanted about 50 extras to play the nosy villagers for the scene between  David (Andy Serkis) and the old man (Doug Bradley), so it looked like he was totally surrounded. However due to time and budget reasons they could only get 10 actors for the shot.

  • British actress Margi Clark had been cast as Tracy's mother, but the scenes with her in were cut from the script before shooting began.

  • Originally there was a fourth person involved in the kidnap named Smokin Joe, played by TV actor Johnny Harris, who would have been killed off before the intro credits. However for time and pacing reasons his part was cut from the film. The scenes with him are included on the UK DVD as extras.

  • The UK release was uncut, the US theatrical version was trimmed slightly to achieve an R-rating. The "unrated" US DVD is the same as the uncut UK DVD.

Extra Info.

Cast & Crew.

 

 

Video Clips.
(MP4 Format).

Theatrical trailer (4.61MB).

Buy Online.

Buy online at Amazon.co.uk

Buy the UK DVD

Buy it at Amazon.Com

Buy the US DVD

Notes on affiliate sites.
 

 

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