An arms dealer’s dysfunctional sales team is relentlessly stalked during the company retreat in this horror-comedy.
A group of sales managers from Palisades, an international defense contractor, are sent to a team building retreat at the company’s new resort in Hungary near the Romanian border. The bus from Budapest encounters an obstacle a few miles from the resort and the team finds themselves stranded in the woods. As the dysfunctional team tries to make the best of a bad situation, it isn’t long before they discover the killer lurking in the forest.
Many executives buy into the idea of team building retreats but ask office workers if they want to spend the weekend with their colleagues and supervisors. They will likely tell you they would rather scrape their front teeth along the sidewalk. What is it about working in an office that makes people despise one another so much? The sales team at Palisades is no different than the rest of us. Some get along and genuinely like each other; some do not.
Severance is billed as a horror-comedy and it succeeds in that order. It is more of a funny horror movie than a scary comedy. The gory deaths are entertaining but they don’t reach a torture porn level. The humor is a little dark and the gags are clever.
The story is original in spite of the “lost in the scary woods” cliche because it uses a group of characters so far out of their element. Although they may be a little stereotypical, we have probably encountered someone like each of them at some point in our careers.
Perhaps the only thing missing is a little more on the motivation of the killer. We are given enough to stay interested, though.
Palisades is probably not the best place to work but it pays with some good benefits. It certainly offers a good Severance package.
Appropriate gore 8
Production Value 8
Final Cut Score. 41 (82%)