Peter Wellington talks Cottage Country
By Anne Brodie Oct 17, 2013, 12:01 GMT
There’s a magical place in Canada, a 306 square mile piece of Canadian Shield dotted with huge, deep lakes set in a beautiful wilderness. It’s a for the rich – including Tom Hanks, Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn and Martin Short plus politicians, athletes and Americans and Canadians.
The axe murder horror farce Cottage Country turns its aspirational relaxation vibe on its head as brothers battle it out for cottage visitation rights. Todd (Tyler Labine) plans to propose to Cammie his fiancée (Malin Ackerman) but his brother and his drug addled girlfriend show up unexpectedly.
We spoke with director Peter Wellington who calls the film a cautionary tale.
Peter Wellington: To people who have been to Muskoka like Mitt Romney the Canadian Shield is an iconic thing. Screenwriter Jeremy Boxen knows there is an interesting culture and politics in sharing cottages. They’re escape hatches from the drudgery of . Todd’s dreaming of his perfect moment on the dock within the iconography of the scenery and the perfect full palette of autumn colors. It’s beautiful.
How do you turn that into horror?
Boxen didn’t want to the film to be transgressive and nasty but use the lens of real and the real weight of these real people and linger on their reactions and terror at what you would do if you suddenly found yourself in Macbeth. So they are just Lake Muskoka people who wouldn’t hurt a fly. They believe in right things, have a good , pay taxes, and how the heck are there so many dead bodies?
Malin Ackerman the gorgeous blonde fiancée has a shockingly dark side.
She realized she's Lady Macbeth and Nurse Ratched. Always the mild luminous glow to her eyes and contented smile and soft tone of voice and soothing demeanor. She is a psychopath with enough faith in what she was thinking of in her dark brain and it comes through. She's a subtle person, the craziest person you ever saw and the darkest and most dangerous.
And yet she looks like that, this gorgeous preppy. The same thing with Tyler Labine who plays Todd when he realizes what he’s done. They don’t play it for laughs, this terrible accident. And as in all things the cover up is where things get sticky. I don’t think he’s rational when his hot blonde fiancée is telling him what to do. Either go to jail or don’t go to jail and have this hot blonde. She says she’ll work everything out perfectly.
Lucy Punch as the addict is just outrageous.
Now Lucy Punch, if you ran into her you’d tell somebody. Lucy used that crazy accent. She is an athlete with her voice. The voice and expression, they’re like a clown’s impulse to be as atrocious as possible. That’s what she wants. That’s her holy grail. She was given license to go all out and she was awful and ridiculous.
I couldn’t look at Dan the intruding brother. He was too frightening.
He had an interesting line to . Everything he said was great and I loved him and having him on screen. He’s so relentless and so profane and he’s never going to stop being that way. So when he’s disposed of, you think “Oh, good, thank you”. It helped that he played his awfulness without charisma so you can’t blame the killer.
Any final words?
The movie points to people to make sure they don’t fight too much about who gets the cottage. It's a family cautionary tale.