It's spring break in a sorority house. Most of the girls have
headed down to Cabo for the sun, but eight have stayed behind for
various reasons. As the recess begins, a new cook starts to work at
the house. He is a handsome Hungarian and popular, despite the
fact that he can't speak a word of English. His popularity declines
considerably as the film progresses, mainly because he creates his
gourmet meals by killing the girls one by one, then feeding them to
The Cook is a formulaic slasher-kills-horny-teens film. It's
neither a poor effort nor a good one. Although
the production values are adequate and the narrative is smooth, the
utterly unremarkable. It's one of those films that make you feel
you've seen it even when you haven't, because there is nothing to
distinguish it from every other similar movie since Friday the 13th.
The eight girls represent the full coterie of slasher movie stock
characters: the religious zealot trying to deny her burning lust, the snarky dyke, the nympho, the girl who studies all the time, the bubbly
exercise freak, the dumb blonde, etc. The same lack of creativity
behind the characterization is also reflected in the dialogue.
Nor does the film redeem itself with genre indulgences. There are
neither wildly inventive deaths nor good scares. The only dramatic tension
revolves around the order in which the cast of characters will die.
The film's only interesting secrets are held back until the epilogue.
The only real guilty pleasures come from some moderately kinky sex and
nudity from some attractive women.
A good portion of The Cook's failure to register any memorable
images upon our consciousness can be attributed to the fact that it
tries to negotiate a balance between straightforward splatter and
black comedy, thus ending up with a half-hearted effort at both. Given the routine
nature of the gore, the filmmakers probably would have been better off
to commit fully to the black comedy angle, where the script showed an
occasional glimpse of inspiration.
If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to
explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by
our definition, a
C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs
and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a: