Severance Review
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To reward its sales team for a job well done, international weapons company Palisades Defense decides to send them away on a team-building weekend at the company’s new luxury lodge in Eastern Europe. But right from the beginning, things start to go horribly wrong. The road to the lodge is blocked by a fallen tree, so the team’s leader decides that they’ll just get off the bus and continue on foot. When they finally arrive at the lodge, it’s nowhere near as luxurious as expected. Actually, it’s a dump.

As the team sits around the lodge’s kitchen table, trying to figure out what to do next, they share the company’s ghost stories—stories about disgruntled soldiers and violent mental patients who could be hiding in the woods, waiting to attack anyone from Palisades. And when Jill (Claudie Blakley), one of the members of the team, sees a figure in her window at night, they begin to wonder if the ghost stories are true. They decide to pack their bags and go for help, but when members of the team start to go missing in the creepy lodge (and in the booby-trapped forest that surround it), they realize that it might already be too late.

I couldn’t wait to check out this new horror comedy—because I had a feeling it would be just as frighteningly hilarious as Shaun of the Dead. But while Severance is both gruesome and comical, I didn’t love it as much as I’d hoped I would.

Severance is definitely packed with gore. Right from the beginning, it’s full of fake blood and lost limbs and beheadings. There’s even a flamethrower. And while it’s sure to turn your stomach once or twice, believe it or not, it sometimes makes for great comedy, too. When the team stoner, Steve (Danny Dyer), tries to fit his teammate’s severed leg into the tiny bus-sized refrigerator, you can’t help but laugh—even if you know you probably shouldn’t. But while it definitely has its outrageous moments, there just isn’t enough obvious, over-the-top humor to make Severance a great horror comedy.

I could overlook the lack of outrageousness, however, if there were some sort of a story to hold my attention—but that’s lacking, too. There isn’t much of a plot—just a bunch of people stuck in the woods, dying in nasty, revolting ways. And while some of the characters are entertaining, the audience never really gets a chance to know them very well—or care about them. Then, when it’s over, it’s just over—and audience is left with just as many unanswered questions as dead, mangled bodies. So if you’re just in it for the body count, you may still enjoy this slightly amusing gore-fest. But if you’re in it for the story and the outrageous laughs, you’ll be disappointed, just like I was.

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