Severance is an English version of American slasher movies. It stays in commercial area, so do not expect some brutal gore and scenes that are very disturbing. Still, a decent amount of gore is present so we will be treated to blood sprinklers and other fun refreshments. Another English specialty is also incorporated and that is that special dark humor, delivered by compelling performance of all the actors. Danny Dyer is especially interesting as party boy Steve, but all the others contributed as well. Director Christopher Smith gained enough rep with his thrilling horror Creep to make this movie. Released two years and four years after Shaun of the Dead and Dog Soldiers, respectively, it features the same combination of comedy and horror, with the emphasis on the latter. This is not Hostel, although it features “average guys and girls” venturing into the European Unknown and coming away from it pretty fucked up.
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.
If you’re working in IT or any other sector affected by team buildings and this semi-corporate atmosphere, I’m sure you will find some of the situations quite familiar. Severance is a fun movie, with lots of jokes and slapstick humor. I especially liked the smart script, filled with witty one-liners, usually dished out by Mr. Dyer as the party guy. Granted, you will have to have a “normal” sense of humor not to be offended or just confused by what’s going on. The genre was still underdeveloped in 2006, but by now there are dozens and dozens good horror/comedies. If you’re looking for something similar, I suggest you check out two British flicks featuring a similar style: The Cottage and Doghouse. In the latter, we will hang out with Danny Dyer again.
Director: Christopher Smith
Cast: Toby Stephens, Claudie Blakley, Andy Nyman, Babou Ceesay, Tim McInnerny, Danny Dyer
Fun Facts: The swimming pool full of fallen leafs that Gordon falls into is actually a few inches deep fountain with a diving-board installed on the side.