OCTOBER 22, 2007
Man, I love Severance, and I am really bummed it didn’t open wider. It’s a perfectly enjoyable comedy/horror movie, and I think it would have gone over well with American audiences, despite its British origins.
Also, Laura Harris is nonsensically cute.
This movie had a lot of laugh out loud moments for me, though the horror scenes are done just as well. I wasn’t a huge fan of Christopher Smith’s previous film, Creep, but I could see he had talent as a director. Which is probably why this one, which was written by James Moran (with additional writing from Smith), turned out so much better. I don’t know who wrote the funniest lines (“You found a pie?”) but whoever it was deserves an award for some of this stuff. There’s a scene where everyone is understandably panicked due to seeing a masked man outside their window, and one character says “OK, you and Jill go up the hill...”, at which point he stops and giggles to himself about his unintentional reference. Stuff like that kills me, and there are plenty of similar dry jokes throughout the film.
One of my favorite things on South Park is when they introduce a ridiculous concept that everyone assumes to be one of Cartman’s lies, and it turns out to be true. For example: when he is convinced Kyle carries a key around his neck that unlocks a chest full of “Jew Gold”, or when he tells Token that he can play bass simply because he is black. Well Severance has a few of these as well (non-racist ones in fact!), and they were just as funny the 2nd time around (the bear!!!). I’m not sure if there’s a particular name for this type of joke, but damned if I don’t wish there was a lot more of it in movies/TV. Some of the humor goes a little too far into broad territory (particularly during the dinner scene where everyone offers a theory as to the history of the lodge they are staying in), but luckily it’s usually restrained and thus funnier.
As for the horror (and action – the last 20 minutes of the film are more Rambo than Eye See You), the film is just as well done. Smith stages some terrific gore gags (not always mixed with comedy), and even elicits a genuine scare or two in these sequences. My only real concern was the sheer AMOUNT of bad guys that are introduced near the end. It seemed a bit much, though luckily the film has earned so much goodwill at that point that it was easy to forgive.
This hit DVD last week or so, and I didn’t even know about it. Like its theatrical run, it had very little promotion, which is a damn shame. I urge you all to check it out at your earliest convenience, as it’s a rare horror-comedy that works in both categories.Also, again, Laura Harris is ridiculously cute.
What say you?