Cottage Country is a movie that I saw a trailer for and then just sort of forgot about until they added it to Netflix. The sole reason I watched this movie was for Tyler Labine from the excellent Tucker and Dale VS Evil. This movie seemed to have the same kind of idea, both being dark comedies centering around accidental murder. Was Cottage Country as good as Tucker and Dale VS Evil? No. It’s not that close either. Tucker and Dale is much better all around and it is especially a great deal funnier. That being said I still very much enjoyed Cottage Country.
After watching the movie I was somewhat shocked to see all the negative reviews for it. This film has a bad reputation and seems to be getting a lot of undeserved flak. Is this movie perfect? Not at all, but it is not bad by any stretch of the imagination. It’s an enjoyable flick that doesn’t deserved to be labeled as trash as it has been. I’m expecting it to actually gain a cult following in a few years.
Cottage Country tells the story of Todd and Cammie who go to Todd’s cottage so that he can propose. Some unwanted guests cause Todd and Cammie to cover up multiple murders in a very dark comedy. The movie is morbidly funny and mixes the horror with the comedy in a way that not everyone’s pallette will be able to handle. Sometimes the mixing of the two genres is a little uneven, and I would’ve liked a bit more comedy in there, but the movie remains funny enough to not lose sight of its goal. There are standout moments that are very very funny, but the movie would’ve benefited from having some smaller laughs sprinkled in throughout.
The dramatic and horror aspects are surprisingly effective. I love horror comedies, and what usually ends up happening is that the comedy takes center stage while the horror is merely a backdrop. Most horror comedies simply use the horror as the setup and fail to deliver on actually being frightening. Cottage Country, while never being scary, does manage to competently build tension and even manifest a creepy vibe in a few scenes. The way these different elements are mixed could have been handled better, but I found that they still worked. These elements work especially well given the excellent acting and the good musical score.
Tyler Labine is great as Todd. He pulls off the comedy and handles the dramatic moments just as well. The cast of characters is surprisingly varied and everyone does their jobs nicely. The female lead Cammie (played by Malin Akerman) is great and her character, that at first seems generic, is actually rather interesting. SPOILER Her character actually becomes the antagonist of the film near the end and while the writing on her transition wasn’t particularly good, the actress manages to make it work fairly well. The climax of the film went in an unexpected direction, but I think it works for this particular movie. END SPOILER.
The supporting cast all do a very good job. Horror movies in general get a bad reputation as having terrible acting, but that is not always the case. The acting in Cottage Country is good all around. There are some standout characters that manage to be fully developed even though they may only have a couple of scenes. There is a Hasidic Jewish man named Dov who goes all detective on the disappearance of Todd’s brother Salinger who he murdered earlier (Not a spoiler it’s in the trailer). This character is delightfully strange and his outcome is gleefully funny. The one character I found underdeveloped was the vagrant. He is only seen twice and a little more action from him would’ve been appreciated. There are two other standout characters I want to mention. The female cop and Todd’s father both manage to be terribly cool, despite having little screen time. The cop is a bonafide BAMF and really goes out with a bang and Todd’s father might actually be the funniest part of the whole movie when he starts screaming at his wife.
Overall I found Cottage Country to be a thoroughly entertaining film. Despite the direction sometimes being a bit misguided and the different elements getting occasionally crossed the film remains very enjoyable. It definitely could have been funnier, but what we got with Cottage Country is still a satisfying flick, if perhaps a little forgettable. I’d definitely recommend it to fans of the horror comedy subgenre.