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Gruesomely effective black comedy
Leofwine_draca14 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
SEVERANCE is nothing new. I'll admit that from the outset. Its thrills, spills, and chills are a jumble of themes, with references to THE EVIL DEAD and DELIVERANCE in the plotting and scenes straight out of HOSTEL amongst other films. There's nothing you haven't seen here before. Instead, this is part of a modern sub-genre of British cinema which throws a group of people into an isolated natural setting and gives them an enemy to battle. We had soldiers vs. werewolves in DOG SOLDIERS; cavers vs. mutants in THE DESCENT and juvenile delinquents vs. a maniac in WILDERNESS. SEVERANCE, with its tale of office workers battling Eastern European criminals in the woods, fits easily into this mould. It doesn't really try hard to be anything else or to offer much in the way of surprise. But I loved it to bits anyway.

The script is a definite plus, offering a ton of black comedy mixed in with the horror. Scenes such as the bear trap sequence are a perfect mix of laughs and chills, and the gore level in this movie is spot on. My favourite moment is the smiling severed head, one of the best jokes I've seen done in a comic horror. It's little touches like this which make the film that much more enjoyable – the rocket launcher moment is another nice surprise. The action is well-handled and the traditional pacing, with a slow build-up and frenetic climax, works a treat. Another big highlight is the cast. I don't care much for Danny Dyer but even he does well in this one, what with his magic mushroom ride. Laura Harris is another in a long line of ass-kicking heroines, while Toby Stephens shows why it's wrong to typecast him as a villain. Tim McInnerny is also outstanding as the stuffy boss. SEVERANCE won't set the world alight, and it's occasionally lazy in its plotting, but for the most part it's an engaging little movie, and one you can watch more than once.
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Once Again?
claudio_carvalho20 January 2009
A group of British employees of the weapons company Palisade Defense travels to Hungary for a team-building weekend. However they are hunted by a paramilitary force composed of deranged blood-thirsty killers and they have to fight to survive.

Last month I saw "Backwoods" (2008) that has a similar story of a group of employees that goes to an isolated place in the woods to improve teamwork playing paint-ball and other activities. Both "Severance" and "Backwoods" are not a bad movies, meaning that the acting, direction and effects are decent. However, there is a total lack of originality in the story, which is a rip-off or remake of "The Hills Have Eyes", "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre", "Wrong Turn", "Timber Falls" and others less famous movies. The leader Richard is extremely stupid to be considered a "top-executive", and I could not see how this silly paint-ball game could improve relationships in work. Due to the lack of originality of the story, I copied part of my review of "Backwoods" to keep the level. My vote is six.

Title (Brazil): "Mutilados" ("Severance")
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Funny and scary, but ...
kosmasp26 April 2007
... still misses a few punches. It never delivers completely. It's not a comedy nor a horror movie. Which is OK, other movies have mixed both of those genres superbly together (see Braindead or Dead Alive as it is called in America), but the mixture here doesn't feel too right, though it's not a bad movie either.

The story is funny and non-PC enough (for me to like it ;o) ) and it all begins really good The first half is good, the characters are diverse enough and have their time on screen, with their individual talk/flaws to shine through. But the ending feels a bit flat and does not entirely suit this movie. The intentions were good, but you'd be forgiven if you'd expect something else (happening) ...
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Action-Packed British Horror Film
gavin69423 March 2013
A team-building weekend in the mountains of Eastern Europe goes horribly wrong for the sales division of the multi-national weapons company Palisade Defence when they become the victims of a group of crazed killers who will stop at nothing to see them dead.

I recall this film coming out in 2006 and getting a lot of positive buzz from horror fans. For one reason or another, I never ended up watching it until now (March 2013). And I must say, the buzz was probably correct -- while not among the best horror films out there, it sure is well above average.

The trick of this film is that it is a horror film, but only in its feeling. Terrorists, a bus flipping over, guns and bombs... that is an action film. This should be an action comedy. But the style is definitely in the horror vein, with the way certain things are presented (particularly the bear trap). What makes a horror film a horror film? That question has been asked many times, and I think this film definitely makes you wonder.

Although many of the references were lost on me, I now know (from looking into the production) that many of the scenes were evoking Kubrick ("2001", "Strangelove" and "Clockwork Orange") and other notable directors. I love it. I love the subtlety of these homages... the "Clockwork" scene was clear to me, but I also am probably most familiar with that Kubrick film (although I have seen them all at least once).

I would need to see this again to fully review it, but my initial impression is that it is a great blend of action, humor and horror. Well worth a look.
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jboothmillard29 August 2006
Warning: Spoilers
When I saw the trailer, me and my brothers thought it was going to be a horror comedy, but not all of it made us laugh. The film started gory, and I remembered that it was directed by Christopher Smith (Creep), so it didn't matter if it was funny or not, to me anyway. This was a great unpredictable horror classic, and I can see how they think it is as witty as Shaun of the Dead. Basically a gang of weapons division workers are on a bus to spend a team-building weekend, and they get lost somewhere in the woods. They decide to walk and find what they assume is the house, with a note left in it. However, this house is not all it's cracked up to be when they discover that there are people watching them, and then eventually, they start killing them one by one. Starring Danny Dyer as Steve, Laura Harris as Maggie, Blackadder's Tim McInnerny as Richard, Die Another Day's Toby Stephens as Harris, Claudie Blakley as Jill, Andy Nyman as Gordon, Babou Ceesay as Billy, David Gilliam as George, Matthew Baker as Noseferatu, Juli Drajkó as Olga and Kaite Johns as Model in net. The two highlights of the film for me are the pie scene, Gordon having an incident with a bear trap and his foot in the fridge, and Richard on the land mine. Good!
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Enjoyable British comedy/horror from the director of Creep.
BA_Harrison18 November 2006
Severance is a pitch-black comedy/horror that successfully blends laughs with outrageous scenes of extreme violence to tell the tale of a group of employees for a weapons company who, whilst on a team-building weekend in Eastern Europe, run into trouble when they are attacked by masked assailants.

I found the film to be both highly amusing and also rather creepy, although how much you enjoy the film will depend on how warped your sense of humour is. I liked it a lot, but then my sense of humour has always been rather questionable.

The story, which bears some resemblance in places to the extremely over-rated Hostel, allows some conjecture on the audience's part as to exactly who the killers are—something I particularly liked. Theories are bandied about by the film's characters, but the issue is never resolved absolutely, allowing the audience to decide for themselves.

The likable cast give sterling performances and manage both the comedic and horrific elements with ease. Director Christopher Smith, who also made the rather humdrum Creep, handles the action well, and the film moves at a brisk pace delivering plenty of chills and thrills along the way.

And to cap it all, Smith makes sure that the gore-hounds get their quota of blood 'n' guts, and even finds time to throw in a couple of topless escort girls for good measure.

I give Severance a very respectable 7 out of 10.
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There's no 'I' in 'Team Massacre'
Coventry1 November 2007
Perhaps not the best horror film to get released since the new millennium but definitely ranking among the most entertaining ones, "Severance" is the second praiseworthy directorial effort by Christopher Smith, following 2004 film called "Creep". The latter was a fairly dark & grim underground (literally) shocker, whereas "Severance" is more of a light-headed and crowd-pleasing slasher/splatter comedy with identifiable characters and delightfully clichéd horror situations. The film is basically a throwback to the typically early 80's slashers in which a bunch of happy teenage campers are brutally killed off by a crazed madman residing in the woods, you just have to replace the teenage campers with reluctant colleagues on a team-building trip and the madman with a bunch of crazed military men addicted to killing. If you really insist, you could also claim that "Severance" also benefices from a moralistic undertone, as the lead characters all work for a weapon producing multinational and, since they're largely being slaughtered with their own products, they get a piece of their own medicine. But, as stated above, the film is mainly emphasizing on the entertainment factors like witty dialogs, stereotypical business characters (hence the comparisons with the sitcom "The Office"), extremely graphic gore and homage to the eighties. Deep in the Hungarian forests, the 7-headed sales division of successful and continuously expanding Palisade Defence Company are subjected to a much deadlier engagement session than their own, since they become the target of savage hunters who are – according to the legend – soldiers who remained in Eastern Europe because they couldn't stop killing. The first hour of the film is fairly bloodless and mostly revolving on character drawings, but from the moment one of the office workers accidentally steps into a nasty bear trap, "Severance" rapidly becomes a non-stop spitfire of exciting massacres and gruesome imagery. The soldiers are cruel and relentless but the office yuppies fight back pretty well, resulting in a high body count and loads of juicy make-up effects. There's not a whole lot of suspense or ominous atmospheres, and the humor doesn't always work very well (with the exception of an absurdly grotesque rocket-launcher gag near the end), but overall "Severance" is yet another very spirited and recommendable British horror highlight. The least you can say is that this country is experiencing a delicious horror revival lately, mainly thanks to a couple of ambitious young directors like Neil Marshall ("Dog Soldiers", "The Descent"), Edgar Wright ("Shaun of the Dead", "Hot Fuzz"), Michael J. Bassett ("Deathwatch", "Wilderness") and of course Christopher Smith with his two films.
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Biting British Brutality.
hitchcockthelegend13 October 2009
Eastern Europe wilderness and the sales division of weapons company Palisade Defence are meant to be having a team building weekend. But once they reach their less than luxurious lodge out in the forest, it becomes apparent they are not alone.....

We open with a chase that results in a brutal murder, all played out to the wonderful strains of The Small Faces singing "Itchycoo park," it's obvious from this moment that this is no ordinary horror comedy. Comedy as everyone knows is hugely subjective, even more so when it involves horror, some attempts have been roundly accepted such as parody supreme Shaun Of The Dead or nervous titillation in the Evil Dead series, while others are so bad they don't need a mention here. Severance, happily, is as sharp with its humour as one of the knives used in the piece itself, perfectly tuned into the modern world and the bizarreness of it all.

What started out as a working script called "P45", where Christopher Smith's film was to be about these "yuppie" types literally team building for a weekend where if they didn't pass the tests they lost their jobs, escalated to a slasher with a wry satirical edge. The characters, as the makers point out on the DVD, are the perfect blend of the archetypal office workers. Each of them can readily be found in any Brirtish office on any given day. The ineffective leader who's wormed his way into the position, the jocular wide boy, the creep, the babe attracting all the sexual attention and on it goes. Each character rich with British office traditions thrust together for one bubbling comedy stew.

Enter the central theme of weapons making companies firmly under the microscope and Severance has much to say. As a promo video made by the managing director plays, the irony is absolutely hilarious and sets the film up a treat. Even as the film gets bloody, and it's certainly bloody at times, the smiling assassin nature of the script continues to be bitingly funny. There's reams of clever jokes in the piece, so many in fact that even now after my third viewing experience I'm still finding new stuff. So with that I would urge anyone who has only seen it the one time, and been less than enamoured with the premise, to try again and observe and listen without interruption. There's even self mocking of the genre it belongs in, and this from the director of 2004s culter, Creep. The cast are uniformly strong, from Tim McInnerny's weasel team leader portrayal to Danny Dyer's with type drug taking "cockernee" boy, all playing off each other with smart and mirth inducing results. A fine fine entry in the horror comedy pantheon, one that just gets better and better with each and every viewing. 9/10
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A bloody good time.
Hey_Sweden27 April 2015
Co-writer and director Christopher Smith puts a rather fresh and funny spin on the standard slasher formula with this irreverent horror comedy. The employees of a multinational weapons manufacturer named Palisade travel to the Eastern European woods for a "team building" retreat. They get on each others' nerves for a while, but this will not turn out to be their biggest worry. What happens is that a very stealthy and extremely sadistic killer is going to target them, and arrange for them to meet nasty ends.

Give Smith and his co-writer James Moran some credit for playing around with the conventions of slasher cinema without resorting to self-referential dialogue. The set-up is certainly a topical one, and the filmmakers do work in digs at corporate culture as well as this genre. The characters may grate on the nerves of some viewers. "Severance" does fall into that familiar trap of "dumb people doing dumb things", but at least not all of the characters are hopeless. Laura Harris plays Maggie as a resilient person who keeps a cool head in an emergency.

Genre lovers will be pleased with a respectable amount of splatter, and it must be said that these particular woods - "Severance" was filmed in Hungary and The Isle of Man - possess some decent atmosphere. The performances are generally capable. Danny Dyer is the principal supplier of comedy relief as the immature Steve. Toby Stephens is fun in the role of Harris. The filmmakers also work in a brief and very amusing way to contrive some nudity.

Ultimately, this is rather predictable and the ending isn't all that great, but this is still pretty enjoyable while it lasts.

Seven out of 10.
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A strange film...but quite good
preppy-32 June 2007
A group of British international weapons manufacturers are in Budapest for a team-building weekend. But they are then thrown off their bus in the middle of the woods and left on their own. They find a deserted house in the woods and set up camp...but there is a deadly enemy stalking them and they're soon fighting for their lives.

A really strange movie. It starts off as a standard horror movie, turns into an adventure movie and throws in political satire also! At first I didn't like it--most of the characters were jerks and the story jumped around. But, eventually, it grew on me. It starts as a VERY gory horror movie with strong doses of pitch black humor. That threw me at first but I slowly got to like it. Also the characters aren't 1-dimensional--they're fully realized realistic human beings. As the movie progressed I got more and more involved even with the wild turns in themes. It all ended with a truly rousing (if vicious) battle to the end. You should be warned--this is VERY VERY bloody and stay far away if you don't like extreme black humor. But, if you're game, you'll have fun (so to speak).

The acting is good across the board--Toby Stephens, Danny Dyer and Laura Harris especially are just great. So it's a strange but very funny and very bloody movie. Worth a look for horror fans.
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Entertaining enough backwoods brutality horror comedy.
poolandrews16 December 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Severance starts in a remote area of Eastern Europe as a coach load of employees from a weapon manufacturing company called Pallisades Defence drive along, supposedly headed for the lodge that the company owns there for a weekend of team building & paint-balling. The coach suddenly stops, a fallen tree is blocking the road & the driver won't travel down any of the back-roads, team boss Richard (Tim McInnerny) insists that they all walk the rest of the way while the coach drivers turns around & disappears off back the way they came. Stranded in the middle of nowhere the team start walking & finally arrive at a run down building which they assume is the lodge, as they settle down for the night they see people outside & hear strange noises which frighten & disturb them. The following morning they decide to leave but it soon becomes clear that there are crazed killers living in the woods who want to kill all of the team...

This English & German co-production was co-written & directed by Christopher Smith who had previously made the horror thriller Creep (2004) & then went on to make the unique time-loop horror thriller Triangle (2009), while those other two films took themselves very seriously Severance is notable for not taking itself too seriously & it's nicely balanced mix of comedy & horror. The one thing that sticks out about Severance is it's easy going & often amusing banter between it's character's, the 'if you look at my cock one more time things will kick off' comment is a highlight as is the satirical workplace stereotype humour with a rather pompous boss, a real company man, the office babe as well as a laid back druggie all of whom get to snipe & make fun of their colleges in ways that I could certainly relate to. At an hour an & half it doesn't outstay it's welcome, the pace is decent enough & when the humour & comedy is ditched for the final twenty minutes the horror & thrills are fairly effective. However, despite a nice humours laid-back attitude & some likable character's Severance is purely generic in every other way with little thought going into the story. Severance is your typical backwoods brutality horror flick like Wrong Turn (2003) but without as much story, even though there are various stories told by various character's the identity of the killers or their motives are never explained, the insinuation & idea of killing the team because they worked for Pallisades Defence is absurd, I mean if you are run over by a car do you blame the driver or the company that made the car? The flash-forward at the start seems pointless & the routine ending felt a little empty. Overall a fun comedy horror with some very amusing moments although the script could have used a little more polish.

There are a few gory scenes here but nothing that excessive, a man has his leg severed by a bear trap which leads to an amusing scene where someone has to squash it inside a small fridge, someone cuts a guy's chest, a woman is burned, there are fights, some blood splatter, some stabbings including a guy getting a knife shoved up his ass & there's a decapitation. It takes a good forty odd minutes for the horror to kick in & the killers show up but the film is likable enough for that to not be a huge problem.

With a supposed budget of about $5,000,000 Severance is well made & looks nice enough, filmed in Hungary & the Isle of Man. The acting is solid enough, most of the cast play it up a little & no-one seems to be taking it that seriously.

Severance is a fun if somewhat disposable horror comedy that works quite well as both although there's not much of a story here & a rather predictable & underwhelming ending finishes things on a bit of a downer. A very watchable film but I wouldn't call it a classic & I doubt I would want to see it again.
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SEVERANCE (Christopher Smith, 2006) **1/2
Bunuel19761 November 2011
This is the first film I am watching from this British genre director who was one of the interviewees in the recently-viewed documentary VIDEO NASTIES: MORAL PANIC, CENSORSHIP AND VIDEOTAPE (2010); it was preceded by CREEP (2004) and followed by TRIANGLE (2009) and BLACK DEATH (2010) and, given my fairly positive experience with the film under review, I would not mind checking out now. I knew next to nothing about this film going in except that it was going to be a comedic horror piece about a team building exercise gone awry but, rather than the expected BATTLE ROYALE (2000)-type scenario, I ended up with yet another ride through DELIVERANCE (1972) territory with the added dollops of pseudo-socio-political commentary thrown in for good measure; even though my experience was nowhere near this catastrophic, it did bring back memories of a positively traumatic team building exercise that me and my colleagues went through a year-and-a-half back! While I still have at least 2 DELIVERANCE imitations to go through from around that same period – SHOOT (1976) and RITUALS (1977) – the "smart-ass-city-dwellers-at-the-mercy-of-backwards-country-folk" plot has been done to death in horror fare from all over the world particularly throughout the last decade.

This group of 7 British colleagues – employed by a weapons manufacturing company – seemed too small to warrant this kind of activity, which is generally aimed at larger groups in order that they get to know each other better; also the fact they are flown off to a supposedly luxury hotel in a remote part of Hungary comes off as far-fetched, especially since the CEO is waiting for them there! At any rate, we have the standard collection of stereotypical characters set to bond or clash at the very first opportunity: the hated supervisor, the sarcastic handsome salesman, the nerdy, eager-to-please fat guy, the sensitive woman, the hot blonde girl everybody lusts after, the colored underling and the horny, dopey wastrel. Half the film is spent on establishing the relationships within the group, all the while making use of some agreeably surreal touches to do so: the supervisor dreams of the hot blonde inviting him into her bed but, upon turning to face him, he finds the contemptuous salesman in drag; the pot-headed man sees multiple versions of himself (and meets a talking deer in a deleted scene), etc.

While the events are unnecessarily narrated in flashback, needless to say, very few opportunities for blood flowing or gallows humor are missed (the fate of the fat guy and the salesman are particularly notable in this respect) and the fact that the two local call-girls (hired by the wastrel) eventually save the day is a clever touch – as is the inclusion on the soundtrack of The Small Faces' "Itchycoo Park" and the unfortunately-covered Vera Lynn's "We'll Meet Again" (over the opening and closing credits respectively). The downside of all this, however, is that once the villains' identity (a band of mentally unbalanced Hungarian war veterans) is revealed, we see way too much of them making for a far less menacing presence then they had seemed initially!
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You've got about as much chance of getting sh*t out of a rocking horse!
lastliberal21 August 2010
I knew this would be worth watching as soon as I saw Laura Harris (Daisy in "Dead Like Me"). Who knew she could be so tough? She keeps on getting beat, but bounces right back. I would have liked to see a bit more bounce out of her final saviour (I'm guessing Judit Viktor), but we'll have to be satisfied with what we got.

A combination of comedy and horror, it is just what I would describe a weekend retreat as being. Love the British horror as it is usually more mature than most.

All this because they ended up at the wrong corporate retreat house.

Not a lot of gore, and only one money shot.
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"Wes Craven's "THE OFFICE"
george.schmidt21 May 2007
Warning: Spoilers
SEVERANCE (2007) **1/2 Toby Stephens, Claudie Blakley, Andy Nyman, Babou Ceesay, Tim McInnerny, Laura Harris, Danny Dyer, David Gilliam, Juli Drajko, Judit Viktor, Sandor Boros. "Wes Craven's "THE OFFICE" could've been the pitch for this uneven yet entertaining to a degree hybrid of inane comedy and bloodletting terror about a corporate outing in Hungary with a British arms conglomerate unsuspectedly entering a nightmare when they are detoured into a hellish encampment of crazed psychopaths are lurking, stalking them one by one . Gruesome torturous violence mixed with cutting humor is admittedly not every one's cup of tea but for those in the know should get a kick for the more hit-than-miss dark, bleak satire. (Dir: Christopher Smith)
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The stitch marks are showing, but it doesn't matter
neil-47617 February 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Good old team building exercises. The sales team gets sent to do some paintballing in a forest setting and after some amusing fallings out, inter-personal problems, and displays of dysfunctionality, that thing happens which is the worst thing which can happen on team building jaunts. Yes, you've got it - a man trap cuts off the leg of one of the members. And, as if that wasn't bad enough, someone kills their driver, chops the head off another team member, sets fire to... you get the picture.

Severance, like From Dusk To Dawn, starts off in one genre and switches to another half way through. In both cases, the part-films work: the first half is genuinely funny and the second half (last man standing slasher movie) is violent, bloody and suspenseful.

Weird but, of its odd kind, not at all bad.
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If You Liked "Wilderness"
view_and_review19 March 2021
Warning: Spoilers
If you liked the movie "Wilderness" I think you'll get a kick out of "Severance." In fact, they are very similar except "Severance" is more fun.

The movie starts with a man and two attractive women running through the woods. The two women fall into a pit and the guy abandoned them there. Obviously, you knew he was going to die after that. Cinema rule #342 states: "Thou shalt not abandon the helpless and live."

After that opening scene it cuts to seven employees of Palisade Defence (sic) company going on a team building retreat somewhere in Hungary. It wasn't long after settling into what they thought was their luxury lodge that they were being hunted. It only made sense; this was a cabin in the woods. Something bad had to happen.

The carnage began with a gnarly bear trap to the leg of a Palisade employee named Gordon (Andy Nyman). It was bad, but I give the nod to "Wilderness" for best bear trap scene. After that, the panic at the disco was on.

We don't get to see any of the perpetrators until the last third of the movie. The last third of the movie is also when the most badass action happens. Our designated female survivor, Maggie (Laura Harris), had a scene in which she shot one of the woodsman psychos while he was trapped. She had one of the best lines you'll hear in a horror movie:

"I don't want to be accused of not killing him when I had the chance."

It was an instant quotable classic.

But, like I said, she was our designated female survivor. It seems very very few scary movies can dispense with that trope. I think it's Cinema rule #24: "There shall always be a female survivor." She was in the bad guys' cross hairs three times and was saved all three times. One particular time was especially eye-rolling. She was caught in a trap hanging upside down and, instead of gutting her like this same guy did to another ensnared victim, he cut her down to, presumably, rape her. That's always a no-no. "Horniness will get you killed": Cinema rule #178. She was able to fight him off and crush his skull with a small boulder.

I don't want to make it sound like she survived alone, the two female escorts trapped in the ditch also survived. In fact, one of them became a deus ex-machina for Maggie again. Three out of the four women of the movie survived while one guy survived. It's not typical for more than one woman to survive, so there's that, but it is typical for just about every dude to get slaughtered.

"Severance" gets points for the setting, the plot, and Maggie's kill & quote. It loses points for the blond-haired, blue-eyed, female survivor and the other cinema tropes. Still a fun watch overall.
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Great slasher but not much of a comedy
kannibalcorpsegrinder8 October 2016
Heading out into the wilderness, members of a corporate team- building retreat in the forest come across a group of deranged hillsmen who doesn't take kindly to their being there and begin to kill them off, forcing the group to work together to get out alive.

This here was quite the fun and enjoyable slasher effort. One of the main positives here is the fact that there's plenty of spectacular action throughout here that generates a huge amount of interest here with this one having some absolutely crazy scenes here. The first of the original scenes here is the revelation sequence in black-and- white where they tell of the inmates' revolt and overthrow the society is quite fun, and that carries off into the big paintball battle here which is quite enjoyable with the fine amount of gun-play action and diving amongst the trees which in fact sets up the greatest part of the film where they realize they're being stalked by the killer in the woods when they come face-to-face with the traps set up around them. That leads into the film's best part here as the remaining parts of the film include plenty of utterly fantastic stalking and action scenes throughout the final half which gives that part of the film quite the impressive pacing. This comes into play here with the dynamic crash that strands them in the woods and leads to some great stalking, the house barricading where they learn the killer can access them in the underground tunnels which features some spectacular encounters in the rooms inside which carry on into the great chases at the secluded lodge and finally into the abandoned town that offers up plenty of fun as the battle with the flamethrower and the brawling gives this the kind of action that really works here. Alongside the really fun and graphic gore from the kills and the chilling forest setting, these here give this one quite the grand amount of positives as there's not a lot of flaws here. Strangely, this one was marketed as a horror-comedy, and it wasn't that funny at all. In fact, remove one character completely and this could've easily been a straightforward slasher with a few brief moments of levity to break up the tension. This one works so well as a brutal, intense slasher that not only does it highlight how lame that really is it feels out-of-place here since the final half is played deadly serious. A lot of the jokes and gags are rather weak and somewhat stupid, as there's the insipid inserts of the one member jumping around on the diving board a running gag at the dinner table shouldn't have been there. Just, as a fall-down funny horror-comedy, it wasn't all that great, even though some of it was pretty funny. Likewise, the other flaw here is the group's motivation for killing which seems like a joke motivation for starting a rampage and doesn't seem like a truly plausible explanation for anything to occur. All together these here hold this one down slightly against the positives.

Rated R: Extreme Graphic Language, Graphic Violence, Nudity and drug use.
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You found a pie?
FlashCallahan1 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
A team-building weekend in the mountains of Eastern Europe goes horribly wrong for the sales division of the multi-national weapons company Palisade Defence.

They become the victims of a group of crazed killers who will stop at nothing to see them dead.....

By any standards,this movie is a horror, but my gosh, its laugh out loud funny from beginning to end, and for all the right reasons.

Smith has assembled a wonderful cast, and the characters they portray are the stereotypical people you see everyday at work. And this makes the movie all the more worthwhile.

Half of the crew are abhorrent, and the other half you root for, so there's no prizes for guessing who survives, it's pretty clear from the beginning who is going to live.

While its a funny movie, it's still pretty creepy in places, and the gore is brutal, but used sparingly, which comes as a refreshing surprise.

Dyer is excellent, although he plays the same character in literally everything he does, his presence is wonderful in this, and complements the others skills.

The rest of the cast are good also, McInnery is wonderful as the jobs worth team leader, and Harris as the girl power stereotype shines to.

Its a wonderful alternative to all the gorenography that was released around the same time, and proves that Smith was no one hit wonder with Creep.
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Entertaining mix of comedy and gore
The_Void10 June 2007
I went into this film expecting a zombie movie for some reason, but actually Severance is more like a British version of Eli Roth's successful 'Hostel', albeit with a bit more humour. There have been a few good British horror movies over the past few years, including most notably the likes of Dog Soldiers, Shaun of the Dead, Wilderness and The Descent. I wouldn't say this one really lives up to the best of them; but Severance is good comedic and bloodthirsty fun, and there's certainly enough about it to ensure that the film stands tall as another feather in the cap of modern British horror. The film starts off in a truly nightmarish fashion; we are introduced to a bunch of office workers going on a 'team building' trip in the middle of nowhere. The prospect of this alone is enough to make me not want to sleep tonight, but it gets (arguably) worse for these guys it when it turns out that they're not the only ones in the middle of nowhere - a bunch of bloodthirsty maniacs turn out to be doing a bit of team building too!

The film is pretty slow to start, with the first half of the film merely seeing us being introduced to the cast of snivelling office workers. However, once the violence starts, the film really hots up as we get treated to a whole load of grisly sequences that see things such as decapitations and limbs being lopped off. The location is put to good use as our cast of characters finds themselves in the middle of an Eastern European country and director Christopher Smith does an excellent job of ensuring the tone of the film is always hopeless. The cast isn't anything to write home about, although Danny Dyer, who you might remember from the very decent British gangster flick The Business, does a good job of holding the film together. The humour doesn't blend as well with the horror as the director obviously thought it would, and this is where the film falls down for me. Severance would have been a better movie if the director could have made his mind up about exactly where he wanted to take it. As it happens, Severance is an entertaining mix of gore and laughs; but it's not at the cutting edge of modern horror.
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comedy no horror okay
trashgang10 July 2020
I just didn't understand the beginning with the two girls and the man running. But at the end of this weird flick I did. This is filed under a horror comedy.

The first part is the comedy, the second part is the horror. The comedy didn't worked out fine for me but the horror did. So I was left with mixed emotions thinking what the hell is this. Because there are flashbacks that were greatfully done.

So I did like this flick but I understand that it isn't going to be for everyone.

Gore 2/5 Nudity 0,5/5 Effects 3/5 Story 2,5/5 Comedy 0/5
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Not bad for a low budget British movie.
deloudelouvain26 February 2019
Comedy and horror together don't always work but in this case it was a good move, not that there are hilarious scenes, just some subtle humor, but the mix between the two genres was well balanced. The horror parts were creepy and there was a constant suspense what kept you interested in the story. The acting wasn't bad either. Danny Dyer might be in Eastenders, what I think as an ordinary soap, but he can act better than the average soap actor. Anyway, Severance is a bit of fun, a bit of horror and suspense all the way through, an entertaining British movie.
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Not as funny and gruesome as it's reputed to be,but still pretty good.
HumanoidOfFlesh12 January 2007
"Severance" starts with a team building retreat for the newer members of anti-terrorist weapons manufacturer Palisade Defense out in the wooded forests of Eastern Europe.When a fallen tree prevents them from advancing,the employees must hoof it the rest of the way,only to discover the luxury hotel they've all been promised is really a rundown,abandoned building without much food or accommodations.They slowly discover that there is someone out there watching them and that someone is going to start killing them in savage ways one by one.In my honest opinion "Severance" is not as grimly effective as "Creep".The film offers a balance between the humor and horror,but I didn't find it too funny.There is a good deal of gruesome gore including some particularly brutal killings,so I was pleased.Give it a look,if you are a fan of survival horror.7 out of 10.
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Another British fun horror movie
siderite30 April 2010
British horror has been on the rise for some time and I am tempted to raise the rating bar for the genre on this reason alone. Severance is not a masterpiece, but it features developed characters, a plot that is both funny and scary, ranging from office jokes to disemboweling, so it is way over the standard as normal horror (read US) go.

What I thought was pretty nice is that some scenes that depicted horrible wounds were actually not showing the wound. It had both the effect of making me imagine worse things and to respect the team for not taking the Saw angle. Also some of the scenes were not really needed for the plot, but they made the effort to put them in to bring more content to the film (see the bear scene).

Bottom line: a horror movie that also has fun parts. It is not a horror parody or something that tries to mix oil with water, it is actually pretty decent. As a type, it is a sort of a slasher, but without being too ridiculous. It reminded me of The Descent, for quality of acting and setting.
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Enjoyable comedic/horror flick
KineticSeoul7 February 2012
This was the first Christopher Smith movie I seen when it first came out and for the most part I thoroughly enjoyed it. This is a comedic/horror movie and although I didn't particularly find the movie all that funny or scary it was for some reason pretty entertaining. The build up is sort of long with the characters and the climax isn't anything amazing. But I never found this movie to be boring or anything like that despite the story not being all that great, the way it's directed makes the movie enjoyable. The characters get killed off as soon as they start to stand out in a quick manner which is one of it's flaws. And the antagonist or killers first start out a bit intimidating but soon just comes off incompetent. Maybe it was to give a surviving chance to the goofy characters in this movie. The thing is this movie doesn't try to be anything more than what it is. And what it is, is a enjoyable straight to DVD flick that is especially fun to watch with a group of friends. Not one of the best in this type of genre, but it's a entertaining movie never the less despite it's flaws.

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unimaginative slasher film
Buddy-517 June 2008
Warning: Spoilers
"Severance" is apparently Britain's answer to the "Friday the 13th" movies (as if such a response were even needed). Seven employees - ironically enough of an arms-manufacturing firm - head off to the forests of Eastern Europe (the new locale-of-choice for the modern horror film, it would appear) for a weekend of corporate-sponsored team-building and morale-boosting. Their adventure turns into a nightmare, however, as the members of the party are hunted down and brutally murdered by a mask-wearing, weapons-wielding serial killer with serious developmental issues. Meat cleavers, serrated knives, blow torches, machine guns - no tool is too crude or too sophisticated for our intrepid little psychopath to employ in the course of his business. This is supposed to make him a sort of homegrown version of the company people he's killing, I suppose, but the movie is frankly too dumbed-down and lunk-headed for such heavy-handed ironies to register much of an impact.

Though it is efficiently executed and reasonably well acted, "Severance" doesn't bring anything new to a genre whose modus operandi was pretty much set in stone once "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" laid down the original blueprint thirty some odd years ago. As with most such films, the majority of the thrills come in the earlier sequences before the nature of the threat has been fully revealed. Once that occurs, however, the movie devolves into yet another monotonous gore-fest, with only a trace of that trademark British cheekiness to distinguish it from the countless other slasher movies that have come before it. When all is said and done, the only thing more objectionable than the sadism and gore is the shocking lack of originality and imagination that all concerned have brought to the enterprise.
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