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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

POSTER ART
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FILM DETAILS
Certificate
TBC
Cast
Andy Serkis
Jennifer Ellison
Georgia Groome
Doug Bradley
Steve O'Donnell
Reece Shearsmith
Johnny Harris
Dave Legeno.
Directors
Paul Andrew Williams.
Screenwriters
Paul Andrew Williams.
Running Time
TBC minutes

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The Cottage
Enjoy a murder-and-mayhem break in the countryside


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Plot
Low-level criminal David (Serkis) convinces his wet-fish brother Peter (Shearsmith) to help him kidnap the feisty daughter of a gang boss (Ellison). When they arrive at their remote countryside hideout, however, they encounter a lumpy-headed psycho killer - cue carnage…


Review
The Cottage
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It’s understandable that, after charting the lives of gangsters and child prostitutes in his outstanding debut, London To Brighton, Paul Andrew Williams might want a break from moody grit. Few would have guessed that his next project would be a slapstick horror featuring Jennifer Ellison and a maniac with an axe.

In fact, Williams wrote The Cottage before coming up with London To Brighton, making his true aspirations unclear: does he dream of being the next Mike Leigh? Or the next Eli Roth? So far it would seem his talents lie more in street-level drama than black comedy. When the mayhem-filled third act kicks in, The Cottage hits its stride; until then, it uneasily straddles the line between horror and comedy without hitting many sweet spots on either side.

The Emmerdale-meets-From-Dusk-Till-Dawn plot, in which two brothers bring the gangster’s daughter they’ve kidnapped to a sleepy village that’s also the stalking ground of a monster, has more talk than action. So it’s good that Williams has two stalwart character actors for his leads: Andy ‘Gollum’ Serkis and The League Of Gentlemen’s Reece Shearsmith. The pair - Serkis as the hard man and Shearsmith the wimp - seize their roles with gusto. Much more surprising is Ellison as the mouthy moll - punching, nutting and spitting “cunt” at anyone within range, she turns the character into a highly entertaining Scouse wildcat.

It’s a promising three-hander, soon marred by an unnecessary pair of Korean characters who turn up to bump off our heroes. It’s unclear what their function is, since they fail to provide much in the way of suspense. The same can be said of the mid-section, as attempts to stir up the same sense of foreboding as the start of An American Werewolf In London - creepy locals, ominous signposts, etc - fall flat.

Still, once the mutant baddie is finally unveiled, Williams rediscovers his mojo. The final stretch is a real crowd-pleaser, with plenty of inventive shots, an eye-watering incident with a spade and Shearsmith playing scream queen. It all makes you wish The Cottage had started dishing out the scares a lot earlier.


Verdict
Frightfest regulars and hungry gorehounds will get a kick out of this, but those who hailed Williams as a Brit-indie visionary after London To Brighton might be left scratching their heads.


Reviewed by Nick de Semlyen

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for The Cottage
Empire Star Rating

Doesn't know what it's meant to be

In the past several years the British film industry has attempt to expand on Its choice of film genre. As per usual British directors have doled out the usual Comedies/Romantic comedies, gritty dramas etc. without delving deeply in to other specific genres ie. Horror/Sci-fi. And thankfully the industry has begun to dip it's toe in to these categories more often. The result as you might expect has been rather mixed. For every "Shaun of the Dead" or "Severance" that has been re... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by GauistheWise at 03:11, 19 May 2010 | Report This Post


odd, but fun, stuff

I thought that this works best as a comedy/crime film, the first half is kind of cool - and I disagree with empire's review that the attempts at suspense 'fall flat' - I found that once the characters leave the original cottage and walk off to the other place, it started going down hill. There are no scares in the horror section of the movie, and the characters actions are senseless. But I still enjoyed it. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by tysmuse at 23:43, 31 January 2009 | Report This Post


Lets face it, Jennifer Ellison was a mistake. Shes there to bring in young men to the cinemas. The main turn off for this film is her bloody fucking excessive swearing! It becomes tedious and tiresome and eventually dowright annoying after about 10mins. Thank God the rest of the cast are there to pick the film up. The story itself is fairly mediocre aswell. It seems to have been picked up from pieces of a script on a boardroom floor. It rambles on at the beginning, unfunny and boring. The th... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by DouglasG at 01:11, 05 October 2008 | Report This Post


Amiable

A decent enough horror comedy. It raises a few chuckles ("The pond did it!") and ewww's and the three main characters are so much fun you feel sad when the blood starts to flow. Jennifer Ellison almost steals the show and proves she is more than a pair of tits (although those make this watcheable just on their own). Not a classic but above average, especially for a British film. And horror fans will lap it up. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Caster at 22:47, 07 August 2008 | Report This Post


Eh?

It's not funny, it's not clever and it does'nt use it's talented cast well. What a waste of time and money. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by PaulJohn at 22:59, 02 August 2008 | Report This Post


Very disapointing!

Watched it last night. What a load of shite! The jokes weren't that funny, it was slow and the bad language was so over-the-top and frequent it became offensive. Also, the monster killer mutant thingy had dreadful make up on. The 1 good thing about it was Jen Ellison who, in my opinion, is gorgeous! Apart frpm that, absolute waste of time.!! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by fraser1978 at 09:14, 17 July 2008 | Report This Post


Very funny and gruesome film. Really enjoyed it! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by N.I.N at 00:44, 10 April 2008 | Report This Post


Very funny and gruesome film. Really enjoyed it! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by N.I.N at 00:44, 10 April 2008 | Report This Post


Brilliant, witty, hilarious and absolutely fucking petrifying, but slow to start. Its a good job the first 40 minutes were so funny. Would probably worked better as a Psycho style pulling-the-rug-out thriller, but a hell of a lot of fun all the same. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by killervideotape at 00:56, 04 April 2008 | Report This Post


RE: Hmm Not Sure!

r comedy that fails to supply any scares or laughs. Not one likeable character and a monster that looks like it came from the reject pile from The Hills Have Eyes. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by stuieboy at 20:13, 26 March 2008 | Report This Post


Hmm Not Sure!

This was OK, but very forgettable as a film. No real story and not all that funny, better as a TV film rather than going to the cinema to see. Bit too silly for me! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by dja_list at 17:47, 22 March 2008 | Report This Post


One really feeble horror comedy

I really didn't like this film. I mean I loved horror comedies like Shaun of the Dead and Dog Soliders, and I also enjoyed Severence and Slither. But this film just did not do anything for me at all. The jokes were crap and deviod of any wit, the plot was deriative, the characters were stupid - not HAHA stupid, just plain-annoying-stupid (Jennifer Ellison was just plain loathsome) and the whole film felt like a cheap failed effort to cash in on the success of the films mentioned above. A poor fi... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by alsybroth at 12:05, 20 March 2008 | Report This Post


One really feeble horror comedy

I really didn't like this film. I mean I loved horror comedies like Shaun of the Dead and Dog Soliders, and I also enjoyed Severence and Slither. But this film just did not do anything for me at all. The jokes were crap and deviod of any wit, the plot was deriative, the characters were stupid - not HAHA stupid, just plain-annoying-stupid (Jennifer Ellison was just plain loathsome) and the whole film felt like a cheap failed effort to cash in on the success of the films mentioned above. A poor fi... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by alsybroth at 12:05, 20 March 2008 | Report This Post


RE: The Cottage.

This is great fun, if you're a fan of slasher flicks or the darker British comedies out there then you should find much to enjoy here. 4 stars ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by skeletonjack at 17:24, 16 March 2008 | Report This Post


The Cottage.

Excellent writing/directing. Bloody good, bloody funny. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by nc_jj at 18:49, 15 March 2008 | Report This Post


RE: FIRST

I caught this at a screening earlier tonight. It was a great laugh, although the second half of the film gives way to blood shed and a Friday The 13th vibe and as a result it feels like the madman interrupts the great comedy that came before. However the fun still continues and when the characters start getting taken out you may find yourself laughing at the carnage, although some of the kills are brutal.  All the leads give good performences and fit their characters well. &nb... More

Posted by The REAL Bozz at 12:52, 11 March 2008 | Report This Post


FIRST

whoops, wrong site. no seriously, i might watch this. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ollyman69 at 12:34, 11 March 2008 | Report This Post


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