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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Film Review: Severance


Severance (15) 

Dir. Christopher Smith 

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@cleric20)

Welcome to the latest team-building exercise for the European sales division of Palisade Defence (the multi-national weapons company that really cares about its staff). On this excursion, you will get to experience the thrill of bonding with your co-workers in ways I’m pretty sure you’ll have never dreamt of. 

As well as the usual paintball, brainstorming, and socialising – there will be some fun additional activities that include: Running for your lives from a psychopathic bunch of war-crazed killers intent on murdering every last one of you, and avoiding the numerous booby traps such as antipersonnel landmines (Palisade’s finest of course) and some very nasty bear traps… 

Of course if Palisade had just gone to the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) for their management training requirements none of this would have been necessary… Anyway, Severance is pretty much the ultimate slasher/action/comedy film. Think ‘Shaun of the Dead’ but swap the zombies for evil gun and machete toting nutjobs and you’ll be in the right zone. And Severance really delivers in all areas; I was literally blown away by Christopher ‘Creep’ Smith’s insanely enjoyable film. Danny ‘The Football Factory’ Dyer as wide-boy stoner Steve leads the impressive ensemble cast on this amusingly doomed expedition. 

An ill-fated journey that takes in levels of violence that wouldn’t have been out of place in Eli Roth’s ‘Hostel’, so be warned, Severance is certainly not for the squeamish. Having said that however the makers manage to do something very difficult –have you laughing out loud one moment and genuinely scared the next. Add into the mix some very smart and politically astute dialogue, characters that you get to care about (before they die), and some crunching fight scenes and you’re in for a very good evening. 

Also, watch out for the ‘rocket launcher scene’ which is so audacious that it instantly became my new ‘all-time favourite scene ever’!! I’ll no doubt have to do some sort of penance for wholeheartedly endorsing such a twisted and gleefully nasty tale but I’m afraid that films like this just don’t come along very often… 

Makers of scary movies the world over should take note – this is how you make a decent horror/comedy film. Severance is, without doubt, the most dysfunctional, delightful and potentially brain-damaging cinematic experience of 2006 – altogether a superior quality British film you simply must not miss...!! 

Darkmatters rating system (out of 5):

Action öööö – slapstick, gunfights, set-piece heaven

Laughs öööö – superb dark wit at work here

Horror ööööö – downright nasty in places and scary too

Overall ööööö (perfect Brit horror comedy? ...pretty darned close!)

Link to previous post on Severance: http://darkmatt.blogspot.com/2006/08/brit-horror-comedy-severancelooks.html 

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Really looking forward to this coming to the Cedar Lee in Cleveland next month. My friend had a chance to check it out last weekend in NY, and he absolutely loved it!

Here's a list of where this UK hit will be opening across the US: