Fast-Paised review: 'Severance'

The marketing team for a weapons company gets lost in the forest and then hunted during a cooperation-building weekend.

Big question: Can this English flick capture the humor and occasional terror of office politics?

Skip it: "Severance" owes a lot to Eli Roth's "Cabin Fever" and "Hostel," stealing the former's campy backwoods tone and the latter's taste for gore. There's occasional fun to be had, but without anything that's really scary or sexy, "Severance" offers laughs that merely wander around the severed bits of other films.

Catch it: If you're looking for a horror movie with some cultural commentary, as "Severance" shows Americans as arrogant and trigger-happy--without much accuracy or common sense. Ouch.

Bottom line: You don't learn anything about the villains and you won't care about the heroes. For British horror-comedy we'll take "Shaun of the Dead," and for funny office dynamics, we'll take "The Office."

Bonus: Seriously. Don't have an office getaway in a middle-of-nowhere cabin in the woods. You're asking for trouble.

Matt Pais is the metromix movies producer.



Directed by Christopher Smith; screenplay by Smith and James Moran; photographed by Ed Wild; edited by Stuart Gazzard; music by Christian Henson; production design by John Frankish; produced by Jason Newmark. A Magnolia Pictures release; opens Friday at Landmark's Century Centre Cinema and the Century 12/CineArts 6, Evanston. Running time: 1:36. MPAA rating: R (for strong bloody violence, language, drug content and some sexuality/nudity).

Steve - Danny Dyer

Maggie - Laura Harris

Richard - Tim McInnerny

Harris - Toby Stephens

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