Thursday, March 13, 2014

Cottage Country: Movie Review

Horror meets romantic comedy in a strange, off-beat mix.

Advertised as a romantic comedy meets a horror movie, I was expecting “Cottage Country” to be something like “The Cabin in the Woods” where otherwise normal people engaged in normal life moments have to adapt to supernatural occurrences where the results can be humorous and light-hearted. Instead the light-hearted romantic beginnings transform into a thriller-like plot and the characters remain light-hearted, and the results were just strange.   2013

Directed by: Peter Wellington

Screenplay by: Jeremy Boxen

Starring: Malin Akerman, Tyler Labine

Todd (Tyler Labine) is planning to propose to his girlfriend during a perfect weekend at the family cottage. Cammie (Malin Akerman) knows he’s planning to propose and can’t wait for the perfect weekend. Of course plans go awry when Todd’s brother Salinger (Dan Petronijevic) and his even stranger girlfriend Masha (Lucy Punch) show up. In an attempt to appease Cammie and convince Salinger that he needs to leave, a brotherly argument results in Todd accidentally killing Salinger. Todd’s reaction was “Oops, that sucks.” Not quite the reaction of a normal person.

The interesting mix between romantic comedy and horror fell apart when I couldn’t figure out when and why Todd stopped acting like a normal human being. Especially when it was then revealed that Cammie is actually supposed to be the insane one. The movie then becomes a horrifying examination of how far one will go to keep their loved one happy, but of course told in an off-beat, light-hearted, humorous kind of way.

There was such a disconnect between Todd supposedly being a normal being but greatly under-reacting for events which are not actually out-of-this world. I think it would have worked better if the plot became more supernatural (like most horror movies) in nature rather than a plot which could very likely be examined in a serious thriller.

I have really enjoyed Tyler Labine in his previous comedies, but I don’t think Todd offered him anything to be able to leave his mark. Malin Akerman was pretty good but the character of Cammie was also very clearly laid out, and she actually acted insane when she was supposed to be insane. Lucy Punch plays her typical oddly-voiced extremist who is both comic relief and antagonist. As with her other roles, you either find her funny or not at all.

Cammie’s insane, Todd is supposed to be normal but isn’t, the events are neither in-this-world nor out-of-this-world, and everything about “Cottage Country” is just kind of in between resulting in a strange mix of genres which is not wholly entertaining.

Similar Titles:

The Cabin in the Woods (2011) - Twisting the horror genre to make it smart and funny as well as gory.