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Saturday, 19 July 2008

The Cottage, 2008 - Review

Director: Paul Andrew Williams
Starring: Andy Serkis, Reece Shearsmith, Jennifer Ellison
Running time: 92 minutes

Score: 4/10

This one from PCE.

I started to watch this movie last night with the expectation that it was going to be dire and I wasn't disappointed.Basically the film is about two brothers , David and Peter, (Andy Serkis and Reece Shearsmith ) who kidnap a gangsters step-daughter , Tracey (Jennifer Ellison). The brothers argue over past slights while Tracey is bound and gagged upstairs. The trials and tribulations of this trio are neither funny nor scary. The attempts at humour feel forced and fail everytime. The character played by Jennifer Ellison is annoying from the outset. Her limited vocab, consisting of mainly f*ck and c*nt seems to take over the first hour of this painstaking watch.

The people involved (apart from Ellison) have got experience in this kind of thing. Reece Shearsmith is a League of Gentlemen founder but his acting was strained and uncomfortable to watch. Andy Serkis was great in Deathwatch but I think he should stick to the CGI people he does so well. However, they probably made the most out of a dreadful script that wasn't anywhere near as funny as the writer thought. What humour there was was diluted with too much shouting, swearing and painful pauses. A bout two thirds of the way in there is a sub-par From Dusk Til Dawn style change of direction and the film begins to become a little more bearable. I never thought the sight of a mad farmer would lift a movie. Although the mantrap did make me chuckle.

The disfigured maniac looked impressive at first until the thing groaned and the rubber mask revealed itself. The attempt to make this part of the movie scary was to utilise gore upon gore! Apart from a slight feeling of angst for myself for having sat through 90 minutes of sheer hell, I didn't feel the characters plight in anyway.

However, it was in the final 15 minutes of the film that Serkis and Shearsmith seem to suddenly decide to pull it together and start acting so we don't think of them as actors on a set (one of the main problems throughout the early part of the film is that you are fully aware you are watching some actors going through the motions and that there are people behind the camera. You can almost hear the director telling the actors to look up, pause and appear menacing). You finally start thinking that they are two brothers caught up in the worst night of their lives and begin to buy into the whole sorry thing....and then it just stops.

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