Peter Wellington has directed mostly short tv series and the odd tv movie.”Cottage Country” is pretty much his first attempt at sizeable budget film making. The film stars the lovely Malin Akerman (Rock of Ages, Catch 44) as “Cammie Ryan” and Tyler Labine (Tucker and Dale vs Evil, Antitrust) as “Todd Chipowski”. The two are an embarrassingly cute couple that are about to take a trip to the Chipowski family cottage for a relaxing weekend in the country. Todd plans to ask Cammie to marry him. His plans are put on hold when his reckless loser brother “Salinger” (played by Dan Petronijevic)) arrives at the cottage with his Russian girlfriend “Masha” (Lucy Punch). The comedic aspect of the film comes about in Todd’s attempt to get Salinger along with his girlfriend to leave.
In a film of this particular sub-genre it’s hard not to see Labine as his character of “Dale” from “Tucker and Dale vs Evil”. He basically plays the same kind of loveable oaf who just seems awkward, even in normal situations. The script wasn’t anywhere near the quality of some of the other films Labine’s has acted in. The funny lines that he normally has were non-existent. I did like the cute pet names the couple had for each other though. Toodles and Cuddlebum haha, very embarrassing but funny (one of those relationships). Salinger also supplied a few comedic moments with his over the top antics, he was a little crude but funny none the less. Akerman is okay in this film but in hindsight probably not the correct casting choice. Labine is decent too, I just don’t think he has a lot to work with this time around.
There is some really beautiful shots of the cottage throughout the film and some great old style pieces of music to support the aesthetic look. Overall the whole thing is really well shot, lots of sweeping camera work, I would have thought they would have used a dolly on a track for several shots. I thought the gore aspect was pretty impressive too. One or two nice kill scenes but sadly there are large portions of the film where not a lot happens, these are the killer (pardon the pun). The couples don’t even attempt to put in much effort into hiding the bodies of the people they kill. For comedic sake, I understand that choice in the writing, it’s just not very realistic. The acting in several scenes is fairly over the top too. The whole thing feels to slow, even at just 90 minutes. The party scene for one drags on way to long. I like this new modern horror/comedy genre, I think there just needed to be more story and action here. The killing your brother scenario is just kind of silly, because we know regardless of how heated an argument gets it’s just not a realistic action to take.
I thought the final scene had a few things to like about it. The comedy while driving and texting during a car chase supplied a few chuckles. The action sequence to end the film was pretty dark but still enjoyable. For those of you who are desperate to see a good horror/comedy, stick to some of the more mainstream work. This is a fairly average version of a classic film. Picture, “Weekend At Bernie’s” but with blood and gore in replace of the clever comedy aspect.
My rating for “Cottage Country” 4.5/10