Featured DVD Review: The Cottage
The Cottage is the second film of this name that I've reviewed. The first The Cottage I reviewed was okay, but couldn't blend two very different genres into a cohesive whole. Will this The Cottage have more success finding a cohesive narrative?
After watching some quickly cut wedding footage that ends in murder, we are introduced to the Carpenter family. Michael Carpenter is a composer whose wife died and who remarried very quickly. His new wife, Chloe, is having problems winning over his two teenage daughters, Danielle and Rose (Alana O'Mara). Rose, the older daughter, has become very quiet, while Danielle, the younger daughter, is openly hostile. Plus she has a new infant to take care of, so the family is more dysfunctional that it would normally be. Added to this, they need to rent their cottage / pool house for the money, but their new tenant gets into a car accident less than a week before she was to arrive and can't make it. Now they have to find a replacement, and soon.
Fortunately, they find a new tenant in Roberts Mars. Mars is a romance novelist who is looking for a quiet place to work. At first they are very happy to have a tenant, especially one that is charming. He's friendly with the family, he's quiet, he's a successful writer, even if he books are not exactly high literature. (He writes romance novels aimed at women looking for an escape, or as they are sometimes known, "Mommy Porn.") But it isn't long before he starts acting a little off. Chloe catches him skinny dipping in their pool. And then when he talks to Chloe's sister, Annie, we run into spoilers.
I had rather low expectations for this film going in, but while I wasn't expecting it to be award-worthy, I was at least hoping it would be entertaining. Actually, I was really hoping it would be bad, but in a cheesy way to I could call it Cottage Cheese, but alas, it is merely boring. A lot of the problem has to do with the main villain, who just wasn't effective. David Arquette, was miscast as the scary cult leader. He can do a lot of different roles, but this isn't one of them. Had they cast the part better, it could have been a better film, but there were a lot of other problems with the main villain. He wasn't a smart bad guy, he wasn't an intimidating bad guy, he did bad things for reasons only the screenwriter knows, and that might be assuming too much. There's leaving questions unanswered to add to the mystery, and then there's making the audience say, 'What the hell is going on? And why should I care?'
When a viewer says, 'What the hell is going on? And why should I care?', they tend to turn the movie off and walk away. When a critic says that, they tend to hit the display button on their remote to see how much time is left in the film. I first did that less than 30 minutes into the movie and watched the last half-hour counting down the minutes till it was over.
There are no real extras on the DVD. There is a trailer.
- Submitted by: C.S.Strowbridge
Date posted: 2012-11-10