COTTAGE COUNTRY (Peter Wellington). 91 minutes. Opens Friday (October 18). See listings. Rating: NN
In the spirit of films like Danny Boyle's Shallow Grave and Peter Berg's Very Bad Things, Cottage Country is a black comedy with a high body count set against the picturesque beauty of Haliburton.
The premise is promising, but this Canadian effort squanders it like the spoilsport who spends his time up north watching old VHS tapes.
Tyler Labine stars as Todd, a pushover who plans to propose to his OCD girlfriend, Cammie (Malin Akerman), at his family's cottage. When Todd's obnoxious, over-the-top brother (Daniel Petronijevic) and his trashy girlfriend (an effective Lucy Punch) interrupt the romantic getaway, people get killed, bodies are dismembered and the seemingly quaint couple do a very bad job of covering things up.
There are some laughs to be had, and Labine and Akerman make their characters as convincing as possible. They're limited by lazy writing that eventually leaches the fun out of a simple, familiar concept.
Todd and Cammie become devices who do the unthinkable just to keep the plot from stalling. Their far-fetched behaviour steers the movie toward camp before it finally veers off into its own shallow grave.