Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror – The Cottage (2008)

Director: Paul Andrew Williams

Writer: Paul Andrew Williams (Screenplay)

Starring: Andy Serkis, Reece Shearsmith, Jennifer Ellison, Steven O’Donnell, James Bierman


Plot: In a remote part of the countryside, a bungled kidnapping turns into a living nightmare for four central characters when they cross paths with a psychopathic farmer and all hell breaks loose.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Fun Horror Comedy


Story: The Cottage starts when David (Serkis) and Peter (Shearsmith) have kidnapped Tracey (Ellison) taking her to a remote farmhouse. The two are brother’s looking to make a quick quid with this half assed attempt with the kidnapping.

When everything stars to go wrong it doesn’t take long for a bigger threat to come after the unlikely group who along with Tracey’s step-brother Andrew (O’Donnell) must survive against a deadly psychopathic farmer.


Thoughts on The Cottage


Characters/PerformanceDavid is the brother with a plan, he wants the money to get away from this life, Peter is filled with panic about the kidnapping not wanting to upset his wife back home. Tracey is the victim who is tougher than both the men involved in the kidnapping.

Performance wise, Andy Serkis is good as the deadpan lead through the film, while Reece Shearsmith is good in what you would expect to be the leading lady, constantly screaming. Jennifer Ellison goes against her type cast of a dumb blonde by being a tough blonde who take nonsense.

StoryWhen looking at the basics of the story it does come down to a kidnapping gone wrong with deadly consequences. It is something we have seen before and it is a good formula for horror comedy so I can’t find anything bad with this aspect of the film, I do also like the surprise that you are left to wonder just who will get killed next with no one being safe.

Comedy/HorrorThe comedy is good in this film we have great chemistry between Peter and David which add to the laughs with their hapless attempt to kidnap Tracey along with the reactions to the killer. The horror is generic to say the least, it is just a disfigured killer trying to kill the main characters in a gore filled way, nothing to fancy.

SettingsHaving the film set on the remote farm comes off well because it shows a good idea for location of the kidnapping as well as a god location for the killer to hunt in.

Special EffectsThe special effects are mostly all practical and all come off very well to add to the extra gore needed for the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good horror comedy that doesn’t take any part of the film too serious with over the top kills and colourful characters.


Overall: Easy to watch horror comedy.




Rose McGowan Weekend – Conan the Barbarian (2011)

logoDirector: Marcus Nispel

Writer: Thomas Dean Donnelly, Joshua Oppenheimer, Sean Hood(Screenplay) Robert E Howard (Characters)

Starring: Jason Momoa, Stephen Lang, Rachel Nichols, Ron Perlman, Rose McGowan, Bob Sapp, Leo Howard, Steven O’Donnell, Nonso Anozie

Plot: A vengeful barbarian warrior sets off to get his revenge on the evil warlord who attacked his village and murdered his father when he was a boy.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Solid Darker Remake

Story: Conan the Barbarian starts by filling us in with all the information we need about what will drive this story as we know the necromancers would bee conquered by the Barbarian tribes who each go their separate ways with part of the skull that will help take over the world. Prophecy proclaims that one day one man will try to reunite the skull collect th true power and that one person will be born in battle. Conan still in his mother’s womb as she is stab gets freed by his father Corin (Perlman) before she dies. Time for a training session that gets real where Conan shows off his real power as just a boy. When Khalar Zym (Lang) and his men attack the village Corin is murdered for his tribes part of the skull mask.

Now fully grown Conan (Momoa) takes on slavers and pirates alike as he searches for the man who killed his father. Conan finally gets a chance to meet one of the soldiers who was involved in the attack where he learns of Zym and his plan. Zym is after a pure girl named Tamara (Nichols) to complete his transcendence to become a true God and along with his daughter Marique (McGowan) he knows where to look. Conan saves Tamara and uses her to get to Khalar Zym so he can finally get his chance and revenge fr his father’s murder.

Conan the Barbarian brings us the a remake to the cult classic and brings a much darker tone to the story. We have plenty of violence but a large amount seems to be on the horses (which I know is fake) but feels very unnecessary. The story has change slightly but the main idea of revenge for the death or family stands firm. I do feel the whole story is very dark and lets the violence happen making the barbarian look stronger throughout. I don’t think the villain comes off as bad as the original one because we don’t see enough evil from him before the final battle. This isn’t the most amazing film but in the end brings a new flavour to the classic. (6/10)

Actor Review

Jason Momoa: Conan is the fearless warrior, deadly as they come who is fuelled with vengeance after his father is killed by Khalar Zym. He can slay countless enemies to free the slaves. Jason comes into this role fresh off the back of the Game of Thrones Drago bring his strong screen presence to this role. (7/10)conan

Stephen Lang: Khalar Zym is the warlord who became a king but is planning to become a God once he gets his hands on Tamara. He is deadly in combat and along with his daughter Marique stays one step ahead of his enemies. Stephen brings us a good villain but I do feel we needed a lot more from his character. (6/10)

Rachel Nichols: Tamara is the pure blood who has become the problem of being wanted by Zym and Conan so the two can end their battle. Rachel brings us the basic damsel in distress role but not much else. (5/10)tamara

Ron Perlman: Corin is Conan’s father and might warrior leader of his tribe, he has taught Conan a lot but still believes there is more that he could learn. When his village gets over run and captured by the evil Khalar Zym he must make the sacrifice to save his son from death. This is a typical Ron Perlman performance where he is a strong in a supporting role. (7/10)corin

Rose McGowan: Marique is the mystical witch daughter of Zym who helps him discover everything he needs, she can sense pure bloods and uncover items but she also isn’t afraid to kill when she doesn’t get her way. Rose brings us an almost unrecognisable performance that shows she can play both sides of the coins. (7/10)martqe

Support Cast: Conan the Barbarian has a supporting cast that all become generic sidekick characters who always turn up when needed as well as the villainous foes that the Conan takes on to get to Zym.

Director Review: Marcus Nispel – Michael gives us a solid remake with plenty of action throughout the film. (6/10)

Action: Conan the Barbarian has action in nearly ever scene with Conan raking up a body count along the way. (8/10)

Settings: Conan the Barbarian uses the generic settings of a fantasy world of warriors fighting to stop demons. (6/10)
Special Effects: Conan the Barbarian has a real mixed bag of good and bad effects, you can see the CGI when it happens but certain scenes do look very good. (4/10)

Suggestion: Conan the Barbarian is one for the action stars to try because it will end up having good moments but in the end if you a fan of the original you might not enjoy this one. (Try It)

Best Part: Much Darker.

Worst Part: Horse violence

Action Scene Of The Film: Sand people attack.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: It is being remade with Schwarzenegger.

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $21 Million

Budget: $70 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes

Tagline: Enter An Age Undreamed Of

Overall: Darker, slicker but not the classic you want to see remade