Complete A-Z list

Cottage, The


Stars: Reece Shearsmith, Andy Serkis, Jennifer Ellison, Steven O'Donnell

Director: Paul Andrew Williams

A foul-mouthed comedy-kidnap caper that veers off into black comedy-horror, this smartly-directed item ends in so-what fashion and adds nothing to the genre.

Two brothers, bumbling Peter (Shearsmith) and hard-man David (Serkis), desperate for cash, turn to crime (hang on, where have we heard this before?), kidnapping Tracey (Ellison), the blonde daughter of a crime boss. Sounds sensible, doesn't it? As mouthy as she's curvy, Tracey manages to break Peter's nose while she's still tied up, but her tubby stepbrother (O'Donnell) is in on the kidnap, so all should be well. Except that he's even dozier than bespectacled Peter, and the 'ransom money', which he hasn't checked (!), is a bag full of tissues.

Two Chinese hitmen hired by Tracey's father are also on the trail of our hapless heroes, but they turn out to be the least of their worries once the action switches to an isolated farmhouse and the familiar horror-film figure of a mad mutant looms large, axe in hand.

This is certainly more horror than comedy, and doesn't so much take the mickey out of the genre as imitate it. Even so, it's well enough made to amuse and entertain six-pack-clutching late-nighters. There's a scene after the credits, but don't bother staying for it.

David Quinlan

UK 2007. UK Distributor: Pathe. Colour.
92 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 18.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 3, Drugs 0, Swearing 3.

Review date: 08 Mar 2008