The Cottage

August 14th, 2008 DVD Reviews, Film, Xpress

London to Brighton director Paul Andrew Williams brings us Britain’s own Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It doesn’t look like it at first, and if you don’t know anything about the film you’ll be surprised that it turns into such a gorefest as amateur crims David (Andy ‘Gollum’ Serkis) and his skittish brother Steven (Simon Schatzberger) turn up at a remote cottage in the UK wilderness.

They’ve done something horrible, Steven assuring his brother they’ll go to hell and the pair of them trying to get their heads together amid the tension. The scam is gradually revealed as they carry the inert, bound body of Tracey (pneumatic British soapie babe Jennifer Ellison) in from the boot of their car.

When their hostage awakens, she’s a firecracker in kittens clothes, beating the shit out of the weedy Steven despite being tied up, swearing like a sailor and threatening them with everything her gangster boss father is going to do to them when he finds out.

The scam is apparently to blackmail the aforementioned mobster back in London, but the pair are hopelessly inept kidnappers, Steven crumbling more all the time and David trying to hold their plan intact despite every setback.

It’s when Tracey escapes and leads Steven off into the wild moors that things take a From Dusk Till Dawn turn. They stumble onto a creepy farmhouse, with David and Andrew — an equally hopeless accomplice who’s come from the city with the loot — hot on their trails.

The farmhouse, it turn out, is home to some very sick individuals, one of whom has a penchant for wearing a grotesque mask made out of the skin of his victims, hanging people on hooks and using any number of garden implements to separate unlucky travellers’ extremities from their bodies.

All humour drains out of the movie like the blood that seeps from the increasingly desperate cast, and if you were enjoying the comic elements you may end up disappointed, but it’s a satisfying gorefest that takes itself in no way seriously.

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