3 1/2 StarsCottage Country is an extremely gruesome and funny horror comedy that plays like the Farley Brothers crossed with Sam Raimi. Todd Chipowski (Tyler Labine) is an overweight office clerk, who has a non assertive personality but is kind and loving towards his girlfriend Cammie (Malin Ackerman). The two are preparing for a weeklong getaway to a cottage located in a secluded part of the woods. While packing Todd’s belongings, Cammie discovers an engagement ring and realizes this is the weekend he will finally propose. After a semi disastrous start to the trip, things level out and by nightfall the couple are enjoying a romantic night by the fireside. Until, Todd’s ingrate brother Sal and his girlfriend Masha crash the pad.
Reluctantly, Todd puts up with his inconsiderate sibling and the nearly unintelligible European girlfriend. Before long things are unbearable and Cammie forces Todd to demand Sal and Masha leave the cottage. In the course of doing so an altercation breaks out and Todd ends up decapitating Sal with a hatchet. Unwilling to let a small thing like murder stand in the way of a perfect weekend, Cammie helps Todd dispose of the bodies.
Increasing obstacles arise that lead to more violence and laughs. Then the movie turns into a crime thriller, with a snoopy childhood friend named Dov asking questions. The couple’s story and timeline of events comes under fire but they remain resilient. Until, Todd starts to argue with the ghost of his dead brother. Labine does the slow and amusing descent into homicidal rage perfectly. He resembles a live action version of the Caddyshack chipmunk.
The most interesting character in the entire piece is a supporting player, the Orthodox and mystic Dov. A man who claims that to be truly good, one must be familiar with evil. He is a shifty personality who at times seems like a cop or horny hippie rather than a holy man. The screenplay is littered with neat set-ups that are payed-off in a clever manner. If violence turns you off, than Cottage Country is likely to make you stare in disbelief as bodies are dismembered and desecrated with gleeful disregard. A great litmus test to the material would be a pre-viewing of Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, also starring Tyler Labine.
Director: Peter Wellington
Stars: Tyler Labine, Malin Akerman, Benjamin Ayres