The Cook Review
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Let me from the outset declare—and set readers’ minds at ease: I will not whisk up a clever pun that announces this movie as a perfect treat for all those gore-mets out there. Such a pun would be cheap and obvious—much like this movie, actually. And I mean that in a good way.

With The Cook, you get what you pay for: a bunch of sexy, vapid, and stereotyped college girls who stay at their sorority house for the weekend, where the new cook (from Hungary—get it?) is a little half-baked in the mental stability department. In fact, he likes nothing better than to chop up women and feed them to each other. And I mean that in a good way.

We’re not talking deathly serious slasher horror here (movies like Halloween and Saw deal in that department). What The Cook serves up is a horror comedy as pitch as night, and, despite being peppered with a few slack moments and more than a soupçon of inane dialogue, a hugely entertaining, mindlessly cheesy, rump...err...romp. As suggested above, all of the ingredients are laid out for the horror connoisseur: a general lack of character development (though, to be fair, the naïve, Bible-reading blonde does discover her inner lesbian, and the dweeb from the local frat house does get lucky with the fitness-obsessed sorority sister), shots of the psycho cook maniacally laughing as he chops up another victim, half-naked girls getting stoned or having a slow-mo pillow fight or doing body shots off each other. What’s not to love?

Director Gregg Simon does a competent job, but no more than is required to tell the basic story—which, honestly, lacks any real suspense. That, however, in this type of movie, is not a problem—especially when you have a sanity-challenged main character, who lacks a back story and any real motivation to murder, to keep things running along. Surprising enough, though, there’s a lot less blood and viscera than one would expect from an unrated version of a horror film.

Mark Hengst gives a suitably over-the-top performance as The Cook. The guy’s handsome in a Hollywood sort of way. Imagine the love child of Aaron Eckhart, William H. Macy, and Steve Zahn. Or maybe you prefer not to. The actor even manages to infuse the character with moments of vulnerability. Since he’s Hungarian, the cook and the girls have a hard time communicating (except for the international language of dismemberment), which leads to some funny moments where the cook’s translations are subtitled on the screen: “you are going to enjoy eating your friend.” Of course, all of this is part of the fun. And while there certainly are some gross moments, the movie has its tasteless tongue firmly set in cheek. If you’re a horror fan (and you don’t expect any twists or slices of unique storytelling) you won’t roux the day you rented this mouthwatering menu item. Bring a napkin and an appetite.

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