by on Dec.16, 2009, under Daily Review

Severance brings some fine humour, fast witty script and some poetic imaginative death scenes by careful reimagining of the classic slasher plot in the vein of Deliverance, Hills Have Eyes etc. The story focuses on a weekend severanceteam building event for a bunch of work colleagues. Tim McInnerny who is probably most famous for his acting contribution in Black Adder plays Richard, a company man and team leader who takes the trip off the beaten track and into uncharted territory, lost in the hills of deepest Eastern Europe. After finding what is suspected to be their luxury chalet, they discover an abandoned hunting lodge. Bunking down for the night, they realise they are not alone.

As I say, the story and plot has been done to death so I was honestly surprised at how enjoyable this film is. It’s clever and fast moving. Characters are obvious but it’s refreshing to see British actors, (Danny Dyer, Andy Nyman, Toby Stephens to name a few, and token Canadian Laura Harris) in this tried and tested scenario who all put in a very good performance and offer a familiar affection. Blood and gore flows thick and fast. This film is really not for the squeamish, although it’s executed in a comical, somewhat Raimiesque manner. I love the opening scene also and like it even more when it’s made apparent later on in the film when the time line syncs up. It also have a very enjoyable ending.

Chris Smith is building up quite a following amongst gore hounds, with Creep, Severance and his latest, Triangle rewriting the pages. An interesting director, one I’ll be looking out for, but for now, Severance is a scortcha.  


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