Given the awesome success of Neil Marshall's "Dog Soldiers" and "The Descent," more man-versus-killers-in-the-midst-of-nature horror films from Europe were inevitable. But the over-rated, ultra-talky, unsuspenseful "Severance" feels like it was made by someone who isn't passionate about horror.
A group of salespeople who specialize in defense systems for private industry are on some kind of team-building roadtrip through the European woods, on the way to a sales meeting or something like that. After the manager pisses off the bus driver, the crew is forced to walk to a lodge in the woods. Naturally, the team finds themselves stalked by a killer.
Ugh. Sounds like a pretty bad movie. And it is.
The lost group stumbles across a lodge with ties to some kind of Soviet bloc institution -- possibly a mental institution.
One of the sales people in business ties is played by Toby Stephens, who was fun as the bad guy in "Die Another Day." A charismatic, Hugh Grant kinda guy, but he's wasted here.
If the concept of a group of sales people being stranded in the middle of nowhere by an inappropriate bus driver seems unbelievable enough, the idea of one of the employees just happening to being high on mushrooms adds to inability of the viewer to suspend any disbelief. There's also something painfully boring about watching salespeople in suits lost in the woods.
Things get somewhat more interesting when some of the employees stumble upon a dead body and realize they are in deep trouble. There's a "twist," of course, and one hilarious scene involving a rocket launcher. But all in all, the film fails.
Apparently trying to combine the magic of the British series "The Office" with "Friday the 13th," the film falls about as flat on its face as a British horror movie can -- which in 2007 is pretty flat. Woods or no woods, "Severance" is about as far from "The Descent" as you can get and un-cutting edge as a pharmacy commercial. Director Christopher Smith ("Creep") doesn't seem to get horror. "Severance" may be touted for a theatrical release in the States but it probably wont' get that far if it even makes it to DVD.
Factoid: Actress Laura Harris had a very memorable part in Rodríguez's "The Faculty."
"un-cutting edge as a pharmacy commercial" while a pretty hilarious statement, it is quite true in this case
Posted by Thabet on July 11, 2012
Hi, Justin! I've been following news about Armada of the Damned since it was anunnoced. When I read it was canceled, and a vast majority of the staff fired (glad you got another job so quick!), I didn't believe it at first. I heard on an interview with Alex Peters that the game was done, and the last few months were just to polish the experience. Do you know why it was canceled, so close to the release date, despite having generated such positive public response?
Posted by hhrtub on July 14, 2012
Rank this film on a '666 scale' of one to six (left to right). Based on 2421 votes.