28th Mar2014

‘Cottage Country’ Review

by Chris Cummings

Stars: Tyler Labine, Malin Akerman, Lucy Punch, Dan Petronijevic, Benjamin Ayres, Kenneth Welsh, Nancy Beatty, Jonathan Crombie, Sabrina Grdevich, Jim Annan | Written by Jeremy Boxen | Directed by Peter Wellington

Cottage-Country

I was doing what many customers of Netflix do, browsing the catalogue of films on offer with a far-away look in my eye, unable to choose what to watch as the evening got later and later. As a fan of Tyler Labine from his work in Tucker and Dale versus Evil, I decided to give this movie a shot.

Also starring Malin Akerman (27 Dresses, Rock of Ages), Cottage Country is a comedy movie with elements of thriller, horror and romance, and is directed by Peter Wellington, who, from what I can tell, has only really been responsible for a few television movies, and random episodes of television shows I know little to nothing about.

Labine plays frustrated office worker Todd, a guy who doesn’t like confrontations and merely wants an easy existence without the interference of other people. Todd is taking his girlfriend Cammie (Akerman) to his families’ lake house for a weekend so he can propose in a romantic setting. While at the lake house they encounter Todd’s brother, an arrogant and obnoxious character named Salinger, played by Dan Petronijevic (American Pie: Beta House) and his bizarre and free spirited girlfriend Masha, played by Lucy Punch (Bad Teacher). Todd and his brother get into a row, causing Todd to hit his brother with an axe, and suddenly the film becomes a tale of murder, betrayal, deception and, erm, frying pan kill-shots.

The setting of the film is lovely and Labine and Akerman are good fun in their roles, but the rest of the cast seem to phone it in, and there are many times when the suspicions of other people seem really silly and far fetched. There is plenty of gore, and some funny scenes to be found here, but there are some holes in the plot and many missed opportunities. The concept could have been handled better, and the cast used more effectively, but overall it is an enjoyable gory comedy thriller.

There are scenes here where Todd hallucinates and sees his dead brother, Salinger, zombiefied. I think this would have been a true horror treat had that been the whole idea of the film, a quiet guy driven to murdering his brother, who then returns and haunts him and taunts him for the remainder of the film. Still, what we get is something different to the usual black comedy, and though it doesn’t break ground or shatter any ceilings, it is worth checking out.

I don’t believe that this has seen a UK release yet, but a Region 2 DVD and Region B Blu-ray are available through Danish import.

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