DVD Review by Kam Williams
Headline: Psychos Turn Tables on Gun Manufacturers in Horror Comedy on DVD
Palisade Defence is a state-of-the-art weapons manufacturer which ships its goods to international hotspots anywhere on the planet. As a reward for the company’s success, CEO George Cinders (David Gilliam) has decided to treat his seven-member sales force to a team-building weekend at a luxury corporate retreat tucked away in a mountainous region of Eastern Europe near Transylvania.
However, their plans for a relaxing respite go awry before they even arrive, when the bus shuttling them from the airport to the spa breaks down. Proceeding through the forest on foot, it is easy for the group to sense the palpable tension permeating the atmosphere.
Led by their ineffective boss, Richard (Tim McInnerny), this ill-fated motley crew of obvious archetypes includes his hyper sidekick, Gordon (Andy Nyman); Harris (Toby Stephens), the sarcastic smart-ass; skeptical Maggie (Laura Harris); Jill (Claudie Blakley), the brainy blonde; Steve (Danny Dyer), the hallucinating, recreational drug abuser; and Billy (Babou Ceesay), the obligatory black guy who will be the first person to be knocked-off, if this high-attrition rate horror flick follows the tried and true formula.
The action opens innocently enough, with the vacationers participating in a friendly game of paintball. But it isn’t long before the weapons dealers find themselves actually being hunted for real by a gang of goons with a grudge.
Severance unfolds much like an installment of the Scream trilogy, except starring adults instead of teens. The film cleverly mixes humorous asides in with moments of sheer terror, such as when our heroes try to defend themselves with a prototype of a surface-to-air missile only to have it miss its target and fly up into the heavens and down a passing jetliner.
A comical cautionary tale which ought to trigger a little paranoia in the souls of any advocates of the Military-Industrial Complex.
Excellent (3.5 stars)
Rated R for sexuality, nudity, profanity, drug use and graphic violence.
In English, Hungarian and Russian without subtitles
Running time: 90 minutes
Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment