1 hour, 30 minutes
R Restricted. Under 17 Requires Accompanying Adult.
for strong bloody violence, language, drug content and some sexuality/nudity
Commentary with director, cast and crew; The Making of Severance; Being Danny Dyer featurette; Deleted scenes and outtakes; Not So Special Effects featurette; The Genesis of Severance; Behind the Scenes; Danny Fight Scene Training; Alternate ending storyboards
Steve: Danny Dyer
Maggie: Laura Harris
Richard: Tim McInnerny
Harris: Toby Stephens
Jill: Claudie Blakley
Gordon: Andy Nyman
Billy: Babou Ceesay
George: David Gilliam
A bus carrying six British employees of an international weapons manufacturer plus their supervisor, a cool, blonde American (Laura Harris) are being treated to a team-building weekend at what they've been told is the companyís newly built luxury lodge somewhere near Transylvania. But a fallen tree across the road halts their bus in the middle of nowhere and the grouchy European driver refuses to drive off-the road to get to the lodge. When the group's boss, Richard (Tim McInnerny), gets officious about it, the angry driver dumps them, leaving them to walk the rest of the way with their luggage.
They eventually find a building that is obviously not new and appears to have been abandoned, but it has their company logo so Richard declares it must be their employer's way of fostering resourcefulness. But the scene quickly worsens when a series of incidents makes the team think that they're not alone and fear and panic takes over. They realize that they could be the victims of an unhappy former client, given the nature of the business they're in. Then in a closet they find some old files of Eastern European soldiers accused of war crimes which only seem to confirm their fears. Then their go-getting accountant Gordon (Andy Nyman), finds a pie, and being hungry they decide to sit down and eat it. The conversation over their meal includes various theories about the history of the place and what might have actually happened previously at the lodge. Might some of those war criminals be still lingering in the woods? With literally no connection to the outside world, they decide to search for help the first thing the next morning.
There are several outstanding performances including Danny Dyer as Steve who is seriously stoned on some magic mushrooms he bought on the street on the way from the airport, Andy Nyman as the eager-beaver type who found the pie and Toby Stephens, who has a rather small role as cynical manager of the lodge.
Director Christopher Smith ("Creep") does an excellent job building tension and setting up false alarms prior to the actual surprise twist. He also takes enough time to give his characters considerably more depth than is usual in slasher films. And right up to the end, itís not obvious who, if any of them will survive, since we're not familiar with any of the actors.
What could have been just another slasher movie is an entertaining mix of raucous humor and outrageous gore with an intriguing though unsubtle political message.