The Cottage (2008) - Unrated

Genre(s): Comedy --> Dark / Horror / Thriller
Sony || Unrated - 91 minutes - $24.94 || May 13, 2008
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2008-04-21


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

A U D I O &
.:: V I D E O ::.

Audio and Video

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Paul Andrew Williams
Writer(s): Paul Andrew Williams (written by)
Cast: Andy Serkis, Reece Shearsmith, Steven O'Donnell, Jennifer Ellison


Theatrical Release Date: NA


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Outtakes
  • Storyboard Gallery
  • Digital Copy


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1), Portuguese (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese

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.::THE FILM::.

IMAGE

The Cottage is a horror/thriller/comedy. Itís a film of two halves. It begins great as a car winds down a road arriving at a cottage in the middle of nowhere. Brothers David (Serkis; The Prestige) and Peter (Shearsmith; Shaun of the Dead) are in the middle of a kidnapping/ransom scheme coming to the cottage to hold their captive, Tracey, the daughter (Ellison) of a wealthy gangster. But things do not go as planned as Tracey makes things difficult first by head-butting Peter and eventually escaping with the captor now her captive.

The second half quickly goes Texas Chainsaw Massacre as the characters wind up on a creepy farm being chased by a man credited only as ďThe FarmerĒ. This guy is horrifically disfigured and has apparently also killed his family and now lives his days picking apart those who wonder onto his land.

I actually found the thriller-comedy aspect far more interesting than the horror-comedy part. If writer-director Paul Andrew Williams had stuck with that, this wouldíve made a nice little movie, but instead by the second half, The Cottage devolved into yet another low-budget TCM wannabe filled with plenty of blood for uber-fans, but the rest may find it either repetitive (i.e. unoriginal) or just dumb.

On the plus side, Andy Serkis certainly steps out of the shadow of Gollum and King Kong and shows that he has onscreen charisma in the flesh rather than in the CGI world. There really isnít much to his character, or any of the others for that matter, but I think I couldíve watched 90 minutes about the David character. But I doubt a prequel is possible...

The captive, Jennifer Ellison (The Phantom of the Opera) is absolutely gorgeous in that fake boob bimbo kind of way, and she makes a funny foe for the duo. No, she isnít the greatest actress, probably a hair above those unknown scream queens that have come and gone over the years, but she is a looker and works well with Serkis and Shearsmith.

Overall, The Cottage may thrill fans of the horror-comedy genre and while it does have some good moments, I wouldíve preferred if they had stayed away from the disfigured serial killer portion and stuck with the thriller-comedy portion. That said, if you like off-beat movies, this might be worth a viewing.

The Cottage comes to the U.S. with an unrated version and has a just right 91-minute runtime. For those interested, the film contains graphic violence, brief nudity and language.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

A collection of deleted scenes (12:15), outtakes (4:48) and a storyboard gallery make up some decent, though uninteresting, special features. There are also several previews for various Sony titles. Both the deleted scenes and outtakes are presented in anamorphic widescreen.

The disc also includes a digital copy so you can transfer the film to your computer or to another (SONY) device such as the PSP or Playstation 3. Personally, I find all these digital copies to be absolutely worthless and have yet to utilize them, but what can you do?



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

IMAGE

The film looks respectable enough considering how dark it is. I notice that the black levels at times were not the greatest, but for what it is, it doesnít detract from the experience. The Cottage is presented with a 2.35 OAR (anamorphic) and features the standard Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track that does its job and nothing more. French, Spanish and Portuguese are also available in 5.1 surround.



.::OVERALL::.

The Cottage could have been something different, and it was for the first half, but after that it devolved into your typical horror film. This isnít to say itís a bad thing because on that level, itís still an OK film, but after a promising start, this movie is ultimately forgettable save for perhaps Andy Serkis.