The Cook (2008) – By Brian Morton

 When it comes to horror, there’s not just good and bad, there are so many shades of grey that it’s nearly impossible to judge from the cover of any DVD what’s great and what’s dismal, so I’m always up for rolling the proverbial dice just to see what I might get. Well, I rolled the dice on the new movie, The Cook, and I have to say, I was a bit disappointed.

The Cook is your basis slasher movie, a group of sorority girls, who’ve stayed behind during spring break for various reasons, find themselves with a new cook for the weekend. Now, at first, they believe that this new cook, who happens to be from Hungary, is just a bit strange because he’s foreign. But it turns out that it’s not just his foreign-ness, he’s got other issues!

The Cook sets out to be a comedy/horror movie, but sort of winds up as a teen-sex-comedy/horror movie, and really doesn’t live up to the standards of either genre. While there are some strange and memorable moments, most of them involving the cook telling one of the girls exactly what he’s doing, but speaking in Hungarian so she doesn’t understand, once that joke’s been done once, it gets a little tired the second and then third time. And while Mark Hengst chews the scenery wildly as The Cook, even his antics have a hard time saving this mess of a movie. The mix of sex comedy and horror is a hard one to get right and clearly Gregg Simon has some more work to do before he gets it right. Now, don’t think that it’s all bad, there’s a great idea here, I think if the filmmakers had leaned a bit more on horror and less on comedy, they might have made a better movie (at least in my humble opinion). And, at the end, when the ‘secret’ is revealed, it’s not all that shocking and then the set-up for a sequel is less than well received…I found myself knowing what was coming, and genuinely wishing I was wrong. I’m giving The Cook two and a half out of four cigars, because it’s got a great concept, but the execution could have used a bit more work. You can find out for yourself by heading over to the Anchor Bay website. So, until next time, when I’ll be wondering what that is that I’m eating, remember that the best movies are bad movies.