Broad comedy and splattery horror are a pretty tough combo to pull off, but if anyone can do it ... the British can. There's no denying that the British are masters of comedy, and they also have a lot of skill with the scary stuff ... most of the time. One need only take another look at a flick like Shaun of the Dead to see how rare and how satisfying a great "horror comedy combo" can be. Which brings us to The Cottage, an enjoyably but fairly schizophrenic genre experiment that does a fine job with the horror and comedy as separate components -- but, as is usually the case, the combination of the two proves to be a very difficult feat to pull off.
Similar in tone and delivery to Chistopher Smith's Severance, The Cottage tells the story of two astoundingly different brothers who (stupidly) decide to kidnap a crime boss' daughter and hold the buxom blonde for ransom, only to discover that their forest hideout is the home of a typically horrific and mutated murderer. In a fashion that may prove familiar to fans of Robert Rodriguez's From Dusk Till Dawn, The Cottage spends about 45 minutes as a dark-hued kidnapping comedy -- and then it quickly changes speed before evolving into a rather energetic horror-fest. The tonal shift creates a flick that doesn't always work well as a whole, but definitely succeeds on the backs of a few strong performances and a handful of amusingly over-the-top gore-splatters.