The premise of the 2006 horror comedy Severance is pretty straightforward; a busload of employees from a huge weapons company head into the mountains on a business retreat and are then picked off in brutal and gory ways. The quirky humor is delicious. The gore and kills are incredibly satisfying. And the film is loaded with all kinds of subtle, creepy nuances. Plus, it has hottie Danny Dyer and uses the song “Word Up” by Cameo! Sounds perfect to me!
It almost is. The backwoods slasher conventions make this one a near winner. It also helps that we get to see Danny Dyer’s bare butt.
Because of its military themes, Severance generally feels somewhat like the sequel to the remake of The Hills Have Eyes—with noticeable political undertones.
A series of flashback stories told by the characters all seem to hold a bit of the evil military truth as to who is doing the killing—but we’re never given the whole story, so we can only draw our own conclusions as to the motive (if we even need one) for the slaughter. But what we do surmise as the film progresses makes the “horror” elements feel like red herrings to trick us into thinking we were watching a genuine horror movie.
What seems like a perfect backwoods slasher just falls apart for me in about the last half hour. It feels like a fricking war movie! Guns, land mines, tactical thinking. Yawn. I guess straight guys could accept the change in direction, tone, and genre, especially when they get a glimpse of the “ilsa” type be-otch. Sorry. Just not my D-cup of tea.
Watch the first hour of Severance then turn it off and imagine your own happy horror movie ending.