Severance is a 2006 British-German comedy horror film co-written and directed by Christopher Smith. Co-written with James Moran, it stars Danny Dyer and Laura Harris. The film tells a story of group of co-workers who go to a remote mountain forest in Hungary, where they become victims of murderous attacks.
The European Sales division of Palisade Defence military arms corporation are on a bus to a team-building weekend at a “luxury lodge” in the Mátra Mountains of Hungary. When a fallen tree blocking the road halts the bus’s progress, the driver refuses to take a dirt road through the woods and, after an argument, drives off leaving the group to walk the remaining distance to the lodge.
Eventually the group reaches the lodge, which is old and in serious disrepair, but the manager Richard convinces the wary but tired group to enter. Inside, Harris discovers a file cabinet full of cryptic Palisade documents, written in Russian.
The first tell tale sign that all isn’t right is when one of the employees serves the group a meat pie that he found in the kitchen while they discuss these cryptic documents, only for one of them to find a human tooth in their slice. Later, when they head off to bed, one of the group, Jill, spots someone staring into the lodge. The group go outside to look for the voyeur but nobody is found and the group agree to leave the lodge the next day barring Richard. However, the next day when some of the team make their way to find the bus driver to take them home…things take a grizzly turn for the worst.
The film currently holds an approval rating of 65% on the film critic site Rotten Tomatoes and was lauded by Rolling Stone magazine for its “mischievous blending [of] The Office with Friday the 13th”.
As for my opinion, well, the film works well in a number of ways. The director, who is previously know for the Brit Horror Creep moved from the black horror of his previous title to something a little more humorous and it paid off, even if you aren’t a great Danny Dyer fan (which I’m not). Yes, at the heart of it, it is a slasher but it is also reasonably intelligent with a good fast paced dialogue and some genuinely funny moments.
For those who are squeamish, then it may not be the film. The death scenes are quite gruesome so it isn’t for the faint hearted in that regard. And while it isn’t quite Shaun of the Dead funny, Severance is another example of horror movies mixing gruesomeness with some more light hearted moments that makes the film little more than a cold slaughterfest that you come to expect with most modern day films.
Overall Rating = B-
See the full trailer here: