Using the same formula from From Dusk Till Dawn, The Cottage is a solid horror comedy. The story follows a kidnapping that soon turns into a nightmare. You know the deal, inept criminals and zany plot twists equal lots of fun. Granted, the storytelling feels a bit disjointed at times and the story itself is very familiar apart from the initial set-up. You’ve probably seen at least five or six movies featuring similar plots. However, horror comedies are rare and we should treasure each and every one of them that’s at least watchable.
And The Cottage is definitely a watchable horror comedy. If for nothing else than for Andy Serkis’s brilliant performance. Although Jennifer Ellison as Tracey almost stole the show from him. I also love it when a movie knows its limits. They knew they didn’t have a lot of money so they didn’t go overboard with the special effects or sets. They focused on the dialogue and situational humor and it fucking worked! Nothing better than an honest movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
So, turn off your brain and get ready for this weird combination of gore and humor. Sort of like Three Stooges meets Texas Chainsaw Massacre. They really leaned into this slasher homage, kind of like Hatchet did a couple of years earlier. It’s nice to see all these movies popping up paying respect to the genre that was hugely popular in the eighties. The gore and graphic violence here were quite good and believable. Something I didn’t expect from an indie production.
David and Peter are two small-time crooks with a big-time plan. We find them in a remote cottage in the middle of the woods discussing what to do next. You see, they just kidnapped Tracey, the daughter of one of the toughest and wealthiest criminals in England. This means the ransom can be quite high but also that there will be trouble. And it starts right away.
The pacing is also excellent. I mean, there’s no intro, no nothing, we dive straight into the story. And funny situations start happening almost immediately. The fact that Tracey is this voluptuous blonde with big boobs just adds to the bizarreness of the situation. And it makes it quite steamy although opposite of her we have two, well, how should I put it, average criminals. Add to this the big twist and you got yourself quite a movie.
The Cottage is a woefully underrated and relatively unknown movie worth your attention. If you’re looking for similar movies check out The Disappearance of Alice Creed and Severance. While the first one also features a kidnapping plot, the second one is more tonally similar. And if you want zombies, you’ve got them with Doghouse and Cockneys VS Zombies, both of which are decent British horror comedies.
Director: Paul Andrew Williams
Writer: Paul Andrew Williams
Cast: Andy Serkis, Reece Shearsmith, Jennifer Ellison, Steven O’Donnell, Dave Legeno
Fun Facts: According to director Williams, Tracey was originally written as a 40-year-old character but, to get the finance, he was told to cast someone young.