Brit director Christopher Smith follows Creep with this horror-comedy about a group of office workers on a team building exercise in Hungary who are hunted by unidentified backwoods maniacs.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2007
Brit director Christopher Smith lives up to the promise of his debut Creep with Severance, a horror-comedy that's been tantalisingly marketed as The Office meets Deliverance. But even that doesn't quite nail the offbeat, darkly comic charms of this unpredictable, audacious genre-twister, which owes just as much to the sly, self-winking humour of Shaun of the Dead and the xenophobic fear-mongering of Hostel. If you've ever been trapped 9-to-5 in a stuffy office cubicle, chances are you'll identify with the film's ragtag arms-supplying sales crew. They've been shuttled away by their boss (Blackadder's Tim McInnerny) to a remote area in Hungary for a weekend of team-building, only to be hunted by unidentified backwoods maniacs. It's here that Severance takes a turn for the outrageous, augmenting its shocks and laughs with a varied arsenal of irresponsibly applied weaponry, including bear traps, flame throwers, rocket launchers and a pair of amply bosomed, machine gun-toting Eastern European babes.