The Cottage


After the Brit-grit of London To Brighton, writer/director Paul Andrew Williams paints his follow-up in a lighter shade of dark. Gooey, grue-y and frequently hilarious, The Cottage is a nifty suture of backwoods horror and graveyard comedy. Career crim David (Andy Serkis) ropes his lily-livered brother Peter (Reece Shearsmith) into kidnapping the foul-gobbed daughter of a mob boss whom they aim to squeeze for a large ransom. Predictably, the plan unravels immediately... Holed up in a country cottage, the bungling brothers are besieged by Korean assassins, a farmhouse bogeyman and their tables-turning ‘victim’ Tracey (a better-than-you’d-expect Jennifer Ellison, who looks like Baby Spice on steroids). Outmanned and outsmarted, the sibs’ priority flips from the Big Score to basic survival…

True, fresh ideas are fairly scarce in Williams’ goggle-eyed ’80s-slasher redux. But after a few jitters, he keeps the second-half stalk-and-slay business moving briskly. The gore’s up-close and cruel enough to make splatter bunnies drool, while Shearsmith and Serkis bristle and bounce off each other with double-act polish (Shearsmith hits gut-laugh heights of comic desperation).

There’s a good all-round spread of extras, too. Funny profanity is a keynote, with the ‘swear count’ easter egg and a reel of expletive-laden flubs from the leads. Elsewhere, the ketchup continues to flow in several extra takes of the eye-watering leg-in-a-bear-trap gag. Plus you can catch the bits that slipped by at the flicks: yes, that is Doug ‘Pinhead’ Bradley as one of the locals and yes, there is a punchline worth waiting out the end credits for…

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