Severance at Telluride

Christopher Smith‘s Severance (Magnolia, 3.07) , a reputedly witty horror-thriller, shot to the top of my Toronto must-see list earlier today when I found out it’s being screened at this weekend’s Telluride Film Festival. I don’t know when a horror film of any kind last played Tellruride, but obviously it wouldn’t have been accepted if it hadn’t been two or three cuts above the norm.

“Personally I think that horror comedy is veyr hard to do really well,” says a buyer who saw it at Cannes last May, “but I think Smith really nails it. And it’s intelligent to boot.”
I’m told that if you’re a fan of Dilbert and “Dilbert humor”, you’ll enjoy Severance‘s brand of humor a bit more fully.
Severance is about an international arms dealer who treats his six employees to a mountain retreat getaway in Eastern Europe. And of course, they all get knocked off one by one…but not by a monster. They’re attacked by a renegade band of mercenaries looking to settle a score with the arms dealer because he screwed them on a deal.
I haven’t quoted a review from the IMDB in a long time but fuck it. It’s from Kris60 from Berkeley, and it starts off by saying that “yes, it’s a slasher movie by definition: people meet horrific ends through discomforting means. But unlike slasher movies with sophomoric scripts, this one get points for smart dialogue, strong political perspective and a high humor quotient.
“The title might persuade some that it;s a reference to losing one’s job. And upon hearing it’s a slasher film, one might think the reference cuts more towards Marie Antoinette. Both are borne out, yet the title’s other reference — which comes quietly but cleverly to light at the conclusion — is somberly delightful.
“For the squeamish, give this one a pass — you won’t make it past the first bit of nastiness. For those who are a little braver, but wouldn’t usually attend a film in which most of the cast is guaranteed to wind up sprung from this mortal coil, do give this one a go. You’ll be pleasantly surprised! ”
The screenplay is by Smith and James Moran, and the costars are Danny Dyer, Laura Harris, Tim McInnerny, Toby Stephens, Claudie Blakley, Andy Nyman, Babou Ceesay and David Gilliam.

16 thoughts on “Severance at Telluride

  1. if that hottie walks around for the entire movie like that I will go regardless of my normal dislike of horror movies.

  2. Okay, you stoked me. Now I wanna see it.
    I really like how the guy in picture has an expression on his face like he’s just realized, “is it my concussion, or has this girl on my left totally got her boobs out? And if so – why is my arm wrapped around the girl who doesn’t?”
    But then the expression on the topless girl’s face looks like the guy just planted his hand on her ass – after all they’ve gone through!

  3. I’ve seen it. Very entertaining. Just hope not too much gets blown in the trailer.
    Just to warn you though, without divulging too much about the movie, those two girls are not part of the main cast of characters. Nobody as hot as them have ever worked in an office I’ve slaved in. :(

  4. The British trailer is painful to watch. I’m assuming it’s the product of a less-than-stellar marketing department and not a true reflection of the film itself.
    The one sheet should be the image Jeff posted – that would at least guarantee some solid rentals.

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