Severance isn't your standard horror schlock, judging at least from an edgy opening, as director and co-writer Christopher Smith has fun working from office stereotypes.
Lurid, yet hardly far-fetched, there is the baring desperation of two Eastern European gals trying to escape from a pit which cuts to seven members of an arms dealership.
The company gets a "free" outing in rural Romanian, maybe Hungary. Of course, the lodge they arrive at happens to be awfully vacant.
The busy boss (Tim McInnerny) is trying to pique employee interest, ably assisted by right-hand man (Andy Nyman).
The increasingly restless group is a variety of sorts, from the cynical and bright to the high spirited, as played acceptably by Danny Dyer, Laura Harris, Toby Stephens, Claudie Blakely, and Babou Ceesay. It doesn't take long before some guiltless brutal folks come their way.
Smith and writing collaborator James Moran do well to ground the reality with a decent jocular, slapstick flavor that makes for a palatable modulation of the moribund and satirical, even with an overt political stance. Even if one really doesn't hold much feeling toward those on their way to the grim reaper.
One senses the impending doom, even with some diverting detours, without the big sneak attack. Yet, the tautness is abated often in favor of jittery scene transition and loud sounds. If Severance isn't always a bloody good chiller, the way the vicious and visceral swirl with its sense of humor is a gut-buster from the supernatural and the gratuitous.