Ahh, yes, late-stage capitalism is a hoot. And if you’re a part of it, and you most certainly must be, then you’ve heard of these events called team buildings. Severance is a British horror comedy following a team building gone horribly wrong. It’s similar to American slasher movies comfortably lounging in the mainstream area. However, it also features a couple of quite bloody and gory scenes. Scenes that will be uncomfortable and scary, which is a refreshing change from those easygoing horror comedies. They were not willing to go the distance, unlike this hidden gem.
The thing I liked the most about the movie Severance is the black humor. It’s that trademark British black humor adorning so many great horror comedies. Just think Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz and you’ll know what I mean. And just like those movies, the cast of this one is simply sublime. Not only do we get brawny Danny Dyer (Football Factory) but also Tim McInnerny (Black Adder) and Toby Stephens (Black Sails). And we also shouldn’t forget about Andy Nyman (Death At A Funeral).
We will get to know their characters quite well which will make their brutal departures that much more difficult. Severance isn’t afraid of killing off guys and girls you’ve come to root for in the most wicked way possible. And since there are a lot of characters this means there will be a lot of action. The pacing is relentless and the atmosphere intense, just like it should be in a movie like this.
Palisade Defence military arms corporation decides to treat its employees with a free trip to Europe. The destination is the Mátra Mountains of Hungary, where some team-building exercises and much-needed rest should prepare the team for new challenges. However, when a tree blocks their path to the resort and the bus driver refuses to drive any farther, the sense of danger slowly starts creeping in. As it turns out, this will only be the beginning of the problems for the unfortunate team.
Severance is a movie with an almost perfect script full of witty one-liners. They’re usually delivered by Mr. Dyer playing funny Steve adding a bit of life to this rather depressing and awkward situation. If you have ever been a part of such team-building experiences you’ll know the vibe. That’s why Steve came prepared with a box full of joints. A great strategy, you’ll have to admit.
I know some people compared it to Hostel because of its brutality and travel aspect but I think that humor and intelligence set them apart. With that being said, I have to say that I loved the setting here. The nature seemed wild and untouched giving this raw and authentic vibe to the movie. Hungary is a great place to visit.
Not only their capital Budapest is this picturesque and old city but the countryside is also gorgeous. Although it will certainly have another dimension after this movie. And yes, the women are also pretty. Finally, if you’re looking for movies like Severance, you should check out two excellent British horror comedies The Cottage and Doghouse. Cockneys vs Zombies is also a good choice along with the classic An American Werewolf in London.
Director: Christopher Smith
Writers: James Moran, Christopher Smith
Cast: Toby Stephens, Claudie Blakley, Andy Nyman, Babou Ceesay, Tim McInnerny, Danny Dyer
Fun Facts: The Hungarian stunt crew felt that the bus crash scene lacked balls so the bus driver floored it and hit the ramp going 50 mph instead of 35 mph. The bus crash looked spectacular, the stunt bus driver Sandor Boros lost consciousness for a minute and the script had to be rewritten to reflect the severity of the crash.