Cottage Country: the home of gruesome, bloody violence

Tonight sees the very first outing for Metal’s Hammer’s Silver Screams, a monthly film club airing horror movies. The first movie is Cottage Country, which is out on DVD next week.

It kicks off with workaholic pen pusher Todd (Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes’ Tyler Labine) taking long-suffering girlfriend Cammie (Watchmen’s Malin Akerman) off to his family’s isolated, Canadian lakeside cottage to propose to her.

Unfortunately, his rambunctious brother Salinger unexpectedly shows up with his rock-chick sidekick and puts a damper on his plans. Tempers flair, and Todd accidentally kills his sibling, an act you’d expect would see his relationship with Cammie go down the pan. Wrong, because even murder’s not going to stop her getting a ring on her finger. What follows is an unrelenting tale of betrayal, deception, and multiple homicides, all joyfully delivered as blood-drenched, gut-bustingly hilarious carnage.

Although best known for directing US TV crime dramas, Canadian director Peter Wellington reveals major smarts on the horror rom-com front. While he gets proceedings under way with some breezy, romantic exposition, slushiness is quickly kicked into touch in favour of full-tilt violence. Think Loony Tunes made flesh, as Akerman portrays the kind of female you’d love on your side in a fight — but perhaps not to spend the rest of your life with — and Labine reconnects with the maniacal exuberance he channeled in Tucker and Dale vs. Evil… only here he’s more panic-stricken.

As the film rockets along like a monster truck with brake failure, Wellington ramps ups the movie’s strangeness ante when the paranoid Todd starts hallucinating that his brother has returned from the dead to haunt and taunt the bejesus out of him. We’re not talking spectral ghost action here though, but the wholly more gruesome, rotting flesh, zombie variety.

OK, Cottage Country isn’t particularly groundbreaking, but what it lacks in originality is more than compensated for by its macabre scenario and outrageous shenanigans. It sure-as-hell makes for a riotous example of ‘brain on hold’ cinema, probably best watched with a cold six-pack.

The next edition of Silver Screams is on September 24. Silver Screams is an exclusive event for TeamRock+ Members in the UK. Further details will be sent to members via email.

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