Combustible Celluloid
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With: Toby Stephens, Claudie Blakley, Andy Nyman, Babou Ceesay, Tim McInnerny, Laura Harris, Danny Dyer, David Gilliam, Juli Drajk�, Judit Viktor
Written by: James Moran, Christopher Smith
Directed by: Christopher Smith
MPAA Rating: R for strong bloody violence, language, drug content and some sexuality/nudity
Running Time: 90
Date: 07/18/2006

Severance (2007)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Odd Jobs

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

British director Christopher Smith brings his mixed cast to Hungary (as well as the Isle of Man) and runs them through a combination comedy and chiller. The results are, not surprisingly, mixed. Eight co-workers assemble for a weekend team-building excursion in the woods, only to accidentally collide with something angry, and deadly. Smith miscalculates the balance, however, turning up the gore and torture way too high. Moreover, characters revealing their true natures in an emergency don't divulge anything that's not already obvious beforehand. But the strong cast of somewhat familiar faces (Danny Dyer, Claudie Blakley, Toby Stephens, etc.) meshes well, and the film's first half contains some wonderful byplay. There's also a surprising, hilarious plot device involving a pair of Hungarian call girls.

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