Sunday, 26 April 2009

The Cottage **** (For The Crawley Observer)

A horror mixed with a comedy... Not the typical two genres that you would normally expect to be successful but it really is a marriage made in heaven!

The violence, although somewhat exaggerated makes you want to turn away but try not to. The horror is diffused with a diverse cast of characters who are played off against each other with a huge injection of humour. This has the effect of making The Cottage arguably and somewhat bizarrely, one of the best comedies and horrors of this year so far.

Paul Andrew Williams, who directed this film, plays around with the conventions of a horror; so what might normally be seen as grotesquely gruesome is re-interpreted as comedic due to his skillful mix of horror/comedy genre.
You know you really shouldn't be laughing at someone having half their foot cut off, but with the melodramatic performances from the actors (although I think I would be melodramatic if I had my foot cut off) and the profile of their personalities being built from the film's narrative means that what could be seen as awful, turns into a belly laugh.

David (Andy Serkis) and Peter (Reece Shearsmith) have an almost good cop, bad cop feel about them although ironically they are the criminals themselves. Serkis plays his part brilliantly, almost like your stereotypical East End criminal. He is able to handle the difficult situations caused by his brother Peter by portraying a tough exterior but actually is very funny at the same time. This is coupled with Shearsmith being pleasantly oblivious and dramatic in situations you couldn't even being to imagine finding yourself in.
Jennifer Ellison, who clearly provides the eye candy, also plays her part well as a mouthy victim, but with a somewhat repetitive dialogue, her character soon begins to lose its touch, particularly towards the end.

The film is similar to Severance, so if you enjoyed that you will enjoy this. It provides the same laugh out loud humour as Hot Fuzz, which has proved very popular with audiences, and there is no reason to believe that The Cottage will not enjoy the same type of success, particularly with the added twist in genres.

Williams, who also wrote the film as well as directing it has made the storyline very enigmatic. He provides an idea of why each character is portrayed the way they are without going into much individual detail. This leaves you with a movie which is pretty much based around the action, almost as if the audience has been placed in a situation without being told what has happened. And with the ending being even more unique and impressive makes it surprisingly successful.

Above all, do yourself a favour, go and see a film where you know the money you pay for your ticket will be well-worth it for the sheer entertainment value.

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