Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Imperial Swordsman
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
  Severance Workers Slaytime
Year: 2006
Director: Christopher Smith
Stars: Danny Dyer, Laura Harris, Tim McInnerny, Babou Ceesay, Andy Nyman, Claudie Blakley, Toby Stephens, David Gilliam, Juli Drajkó, Judit Viktor, Sándor Boros, Levente Törköly, János Oláh, Attila Ferencz, Bela Kasi, Roland Kollárszky, Péter Katona
Genre: Horror, ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Three people run panicking through a forest at dawn, two young women and a middle aged man, apparently being chased. Suddenly the women disappear into a trap: a concealed hole in the ground that has been dug too deep to get out of. The man appears at the top of the pit, but doesn't wish to hang about and save them, so hurries away and leaving the women to attempt their own escape by tying their clothes together and fastening them to a length of wood, then trying to hook it on one of the trees. Meanwhile, the man blunders into difficulty when he is caught in a different trap, this one leaving him hanging upside down as a figure with a large blade advances on him, then guts him. This is all very well, but what does it have to do with the team-building exercise held by Palisades weapons manufacturers?

Director and writer of Severance, Christopher Smith (who scripted with James Moran), followed up his promising debut with another horror film, but this one took a different tack. More of a comedy this time, the film adopted a world weary look at the dreaded office outing, where a bunch of work colleagues are ordered by those on the higher echelons of the corporate ladder to spend time, reluctantly or otherwise, indulging in paintball sessions and the like. And all in the name of team-building. But ironically, what happens to the Palisades team draws them closer together than any more conventional exercises could ever do.

Well, those who survive at any rate. We meet the group of employees just after the introduction, a range consisting of those who take it all far too seriously and those who are doing this solely because they have been told to by management. One of them is Steve (Danny Dyer), who is so nonchalant about everything that he takes magic mushrooms while on the bus to the lodge, but what's this? The driver, when faced with a fallen tree in the middle of the road, refuses to go any further despite there being a perfectly good road down which they can detour. In fact, the driver is so adamant that he's turning back that he leaves his passengers on the roadside.

They have a map, and their luggage to carry, but no way of knowing how long it will take to reach the lodge. They set off anyway, and on the way Steve begins to get paranoid - is this because of the mushrooms, or is someone out there following them? This poser is not much of a mystery after what we've seen in the first five minutes, but helps to increase the tension nonetheless. The lodge itself is a disappointment to the group, so much so that they're not even sure that they're in the right place, but there is a welcome pack in the lounge... which might have been put there by somebody unknown to Palisades... The irony of weapons manufacturers who wouldn't dream of using their own product themselves being in mortal danger is a clever one, and thankfully not overemphasised.

Severance is basically a slasher film with pretentions to comedy, so we're aware that this lot will get picked off one by one, though refreshingly they don't quite conform to the usual stereotypes; except maybe diehard company man and team leader Richard (Tim McInnerny). So well drawn are they that you don't want to see them bumped off particularly, as together they provide, if not belly laughs, then regular chuckles. However, this is a horror movie, and after an incident with a pie that Steve finds a human tooth in (after nearly swallowing it) and the right on Jill (Claudie Blakley) screaming after seeing a masked figure peering in through her bedroom window, they all decide to leave the next morning when it gets light. If they can. What follows involves half a leg, a severed head whose owner is interested to see how long he stays conscious, a wayward missile and any number of injuries and deaths. Funny when necessary and exciting at other times, the film may not break much new ground, but is a complete success on its own terms. Music by Christian Henson.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 4526 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film


Christopher Smith  (1970 - )

British writer and director with a penchant for the macabre. After making short films at film school, it was seven years before his first feature was released, the London Underground-set chiller Creep. He followed it with well-received comedy horror Severance and shipboard puzzle Triangle, then the medieval horror quest Black Death. As a change of pace, he next directed his own spin on Christmas, family fantasy Get Santa, and was also responsible for one of the Borley Rectory horrors, The Banishing.

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M


Last Updated: