“Cottage Country” is a twist on your usual cottage in the woods movie. Typically in films like “Sleepaway Camp” or “The Hills Have Eyes,” groups of feral teens weekend at a remote cabin, only to find their mortality at the bottom at of a bottle of Jägermeister.
“Cottage Country” is different, at least for the first twenty minutes or so. There are no teens in sight. Instead we’re introduced to Todd (Tyler Labine) and Cammie (Malin Akerman), a tightly wound thritysomething couple on their way to his family’s cottage for a much needed week away.
The yuppie duo has big plans for the next seven days, including a well-thought-out proposal on a romantic island in the lake.
The first clue that isn’t a romantic comedy or a study in proper yuppie lust is Cammie’s prophetic line, “I have a feeling this is going to be our best trip to the cottage ever!”
Instead it’s the beginning of a nightmare trip that turns violent when Todd’s free spirited brother Salinger (Dan Petronijevic) and his morbid girlfriend Masha (Lucy Punch) show up unannounced.
You’ll have to buy a ticket to get the rest of the plot. I won’t spoil any of the surprises contained within beyond saying this turns from country idyll to a study in yuppie rage and duplicity. Prepared to do whatever it takes to ensure future happiness Todd and Cammie reveal their true colours—his lack of a backbone and her obsessive compulsion on following plans to the letter, no matter what the outcome.
Good performances from “Tucker and Dale vs Evil’s” Tyler Labine, “Watchman’s” Malin Akerman and Benjamin Ayres as an unusually observant party guest, help sell the movie’s transition from yuppie rom com to horror show. It’s a slow burn that bridges the gap between the gore (and gory ideas) and the gags.