Jamie Kennedy's favorite movie review site
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 
Advertisement

Overall Rating
3.02

Awesome: 8.7%
Worth A Look45.65%
Just Average: 2.17%
Pretty Crappy: 26.09%
Sucks: 17.39%

6 reviews, 10 user ratings


Latest Reviews

Fortress, The (2017) by Jay Seaver

MFA by Jay Seaver

You Only Live Once by Jay Seaver

November (2017) by Jay Seaver

Friendly Beast by Jay Seaver

Foreigner, The (2017) by Jay Seaver

Tom of Finland by Rob Gonsalves

Happy Death Day by Jay Seaver

78/52: Hitchcock's Shower Scene by Jay Seaver

Death Note: Light Up the New World by Jay Seaver

subscribe to this feed


Severance (2007)
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by David Cornelius

"A cut below."
2 stars

“Severance” comes self-described as “The Office” meets “Deliverance,” and while the “Office” similarities are endless - at least one cast member is trying overtime to impersonate David Brent - the other half of the equation is more “Hostel” and its ilk. While decidedly tame when compared to those horror flicks, the violence in “Severance” is aimed so squarely at the torture porn crowd that it dilutes much of the fun to be had from a properly designed horror-comedy combo.

Originally conceived as a teamwork-building exercise gone horribly wrong, the premise of “Severance” was changed a little too much during its journey to the screen, eventually becoming little more than your standard idiots-trapped-by-stalkers plot. A group from a weapons manufacturers conglomerate have come to an unspecified eastern European locale for a weekend retreat. A felled tree blocks their bus, and the driver refuses to make a particular detour. The employees are eventually stranded in the woods, only to stumble upon a deserted lodge where they decide to rest for the night. Alas, a team of maniacs is on their tail, and one by one, the group falls victim to bear traps, flamethrowers, and torture chambers.

Directed by Christopher Smith (who previously helmed the clumsy yet enjoyable chillfest “Creep”) and written by Smith and James Moran, “Severance” never quite hits enough big laughs to work its comedy half, and it never quite finds the solid frights to work its horror half. The humor is on loan from smarter British properties, with characters and situations lifted right out of “The Office” but without the satirical bite. The frights, meanwhile, are punctuated with lazy jump-scare music stings that remind us when to leap from our seats; later, the use of torture devices becomes a crutch for the filmmakers, who seem unable to generate more legitimate frights. Once the remaining heroes break free, spending the entire third act in a chase sequence, we discover just how boring this undercooked set-up has become.

The film is almost likable enough, in spurts, to keep us watching through most of the story, and a few of the scares are quite genuine. Both counts are credited mainly to a solid cast that handles the script’s mood swings far more delicately than the script itself does. This cast - which includes Toby Stephens, Danny Dyer, and Laura Harris - improves the material by refusing to camp it up when the story unnecessarily demands it most.

But the screenplay runs out of ideas way too early, eventually settling for a that’ll-do-for-now approach to the material. And so we spend the rest of the picture plodding through mediocre, clichéd horror flick concepts that never amount to much of anything. “Severance” could have been a wildly fun/scary romp, but instead, sitting through its increasingly sluggish pace feels like, well, work.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=14900&reviewer=392
originally posted: 10/03/07 18:53:11
[printer] printer-friendly format  
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 Toronto Film Festival For more in the 2006 Toronto Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 Fantastic Fest For more in the 2006 Fantastic Fest series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 Chicago Film Festival For more in the 2006 Chicago Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 Boston Fantastic Film Festival For more in the 2006 Boston Fantastic Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2007 South By Southwest Film Festival For more in the 2007 South By Southwest Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2007 Portland Film Festival For more in the 2007 Portland Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2007 Florida Film Festival For more in the 2007 Florida Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2007 Philadelphia Film Festival For more in the 2007 Philadelphia Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

3/05/11 PAUL SHORTT LIVELY OFFBEAT FUN THREADING GUT-WRENCHING GORE THROUGH COMIC DYNAMICS 4 stars
10/29/07 Servo Freaking great fun and funny to boot. Check this out and Creep, Smith's 1st movie. 4 stars
7/02/07 William Goss Last forty minutes isn't worth sitting thru the first fifty for. 3 stars
4/18/07 Stevo UK Anyone who wants to see a classic example of British humor Watch Only Fools and horses. 1 stars
3/19/07 Bitchflaps No substance beyond the British humour-meets-gore-film gimmick. Sadism for its own sake. 1 stars
10/08/06 Phil Funny, worth a watch 4 stars
10/08/06 Mark Oz Great fun. If it's on near you, don't miss it. 5 stars
9/27/06 Jenn Funny, Scary and gory 5 stars
8/08/06 Mary Elliers Excellent. Funny, scary, upredictable. 5 stars
7/29/06 John Walker Saw it in Korean film festival it's brilliant. Funny,scary and gory. 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:


Discuss this movie in our forum

USA
  18-May-2007 (R)
  DVD: 18-Sep-2007

UK
  25-Aug-2006
  DVD: 08-Jan-2007

Australia
  N/A



[trailer] Trailer




Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 
Privacy Policy | | HBS Inc. |   
All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast