Tuesday 18th January 2022

Severance (15)
Directed by: Christopher Smith
Reviewed by: Paul Fonz

I'm not a massive fan of horror films, but I dabble in them occasionally, partly due to a nagging sense of guilt and partly because I have nothing better to do with my time. This week I decided I'd give Severance a go, because it's British and supposed to be a more humorous take on the genre than usual.

"...and Byker Grove was never the same again. So that's why you keep your goggles on."
"...and Byker Grove was never the same again. So that's why you keep your goggles on."

Well, from the very start the director (relative newcomer Christopher Smith) establishes the tone of the film, as we flash forward to watch some pretty brutal scenes set to some upbeat and cheerful music. Which pretty well sums up the film as a whole: it's reasonably amusing and features a fairly silly plot, but plenty of people get killed throughout the film in some pretty horrible ways. It doesn't take itself very seriously and recognises that it is basically another take on a well-worn premise: a group of people stay in a remote cabin in some woods and then all get killed.

If that sort of horror film is your cup of tea, then this is a must-see. What's more, while I was watching Severance, I didn't feel like I was watching the same old thing I'd seen plenty of times before in other horror films, so the director must have managed to keep things fairly interesting. On reflection, however, it is hard to think of something in this film that I really haven't seen elsewhere.

You might hear this one compared to Shaun of the Dead, but in fact the two films don't have very much in common, other than they are both British horror films with humour in them. This one is much more similar to a typical scary movie than Shaun, and for my money it's nowhere near as good. Overall though, as someone who's not a massive fan of horror films, I didn't find this one boring, irritating or uninteresting, so by other people's standards it's probably quite good!

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Length: 95 minutes
Certificate: 15
Official Site:
IMDB Link:
Release Date: 25th August 2006

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