Monday, June 04, 2007

Movie Review: Severence

There's a newish genre of movies. I call them "horror/comedies". They take a genre of horror and make it a comedy.
It's newish because they've had films like this before but they're just becoming popular. Recently we've had "Shaun of the Dead" and "Slither". Historically we've had things like "Airplane" and "Evil Dead 2/Army of Darkness". Evil Dead 1 doesn't count because it wasn't supposed to be funny. The upcoming remake IS supposed to be funny.
"Severence" is just the latest in this genre.

You've never heard of this movie before. I can almost guarantee this. I saw a trailer several months back, but it was online and the only advertising for this movie I've seen.
"Severence" is often described as what you'd get if you sent the cast of "The Office" on a team building exercise. That's not a bad description, really.
A group of people from a weapons development company go out into the Balkans for a team building weekend. On the bus ride out they setup the cast. There's the office hottie (Laura Harris from Dead Like Me), the stoner, the dweeby but over prepared boy scout, the guy who always challenges the boss, the token black, the mousy girl, the pointy haired boss (Tim McInnerny of Black Adder) and some other people that I forget now.
As they near the cabin they find a tree blocking the road. Instead of making an effort to move it they suggest to the bus driver that he take this suspiciously convenient side road. He refuses and leaves them all to hike. The boss insists that all maps have a 1 inch equals 1 mile scale and starts off. Instead of hopping the log they take the side road, ignoring the downed fence that indicates that their company owns the land and they really shouldn't be there. They find a beaten up old cabin that the manager insists is the luxury cabin they were looking for. They turn on the generator, get the water up, find some old company files written in Russian, and settle in.
Next thing you know someone is killing them off one at a time.

I know I'm not really selling this as a comedy. The comedy is alternatively much like "The Office" where it's office funny but not gonna give huge laughs and then very, very, oh so very dark. With some slapstick thrown in.
Such as the guy who gets his leg caught in a bear trap... five times.
Such as the guy who falls against a tree to tend to his wounded leg. Then the crude grappling hook made by some girls trying to escape from a pit lands next to him. Then gets drug back in the hole. Several times.
The guys who whips out the rocket launcher and ... no, I can't give that one away.
I can't explain it.

I've seen too many of these movies despite disliking the "take a short cut/get lost/locals eat you" genre. People keep giving them to me to watch. I can't turn down free!
This one I liked. This one I'll get on DVD.
If you don't like horror you might want to skip this. The violence has not been toned down just because it's a comedy.

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