The Severance word continues to sink after this morning’s Toronto Film Festival press screening. I’m not calling it a terrible film — it’s moderately passable, amusing at times — but it was way overpraised a few weeks ago and it’s not living up to the hype.
When I heard Severance was playing Telluride I assumed it must be up to something quite special, outrageous, uproarious…and it’s not. It’s definitely hipper and funnier than Eli Roth‘s Hostel , but otherwise it’s markedly similar to that Lionsgate release. It (a) takes place in rural eastern Europe, (b) is about a group of westerners getting slashed and chopped to death by a gang of fiendish Eastern European paramilitary goons, and (c) has an extended torture-cellar sequence in which a screaming guy is strapped into a chair and disembowled.
That said, there are several excellent death and mutiliation scenes — a talking-head beheading, a chopped-off leg, a flame-thrower torching, a guy blown to pieces by a land mine, etc.