It’s official! Tyler Labine is funny vs evil and being evil

From the producers of the well received Hobo With a Shotgun, (one of my personal favourites), comes a great new dark comedy by the name of Cottage Country. Which just happens to star Tyline Labine, who you will probably recognize from the downright gut splitting, hilarious film Tucker and Dale vs Evil, a film where he both figuratively and literally killed it in the role as Dale.

Here Labine plays the somewhat more refined role of Todd Chipowski, a man who has planned out the perfect week long getaway at his parent’s lake house with his long-time girlfriend Cammie (Malin Akerman). Todd has planned a bit more than just the vacation, he and Cammie have plans to paddle out to the lake’s remote island and find the perfect spot for Todd to pop the question. Before they even get settled in, Todd’s rowdy, obnoxious brother Salinger (Dan Petronijevic) shows up with his sleazy girlfriend Masha in tow (Lucy Punch). When Todd tells Sal to hit the road they end up in a scuffle which ends up with the better part of an ax head buried into his Sal’s neck. When Cammie hears the news, she decides nothing is gonna stop their engagement and they continue with their plans on the island. Little do they know that Sal has invited all his friends over for a big bash that very night and they return to find a house full of strangers and a whole lot of explaining to do as to where Sal is, and why his car is in the driveway.

I know you’re probably thinking all of this is nothing new and that you’ve likely seen a similar film with a strong resemblance to what I’ve just laid out and you’re right. It has been done before effectively in numerous dark comedies, but this film has a fresh feel and will have you laughing all throughout. One great surprise for me was the effective zigzag in the film’s final minutes, it does something unpredictable and leaves you with a certain upbeat sense of karma. This wasn’t quite Tucker & Dale vs Evil funny, but it’s still a fine choice for some good laughs that I recommend if that’s what you’re in the mood for. Let’s just hope it gets a distribution deal soon, from what I could gather it’s been in film limbo for far too long.

Grade B

Reviewed by Jim Davis, special to Influx Magazine.

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