Severance was always a movie that would somehow elude me on streaming. I would add it to my watchlist on wherever I would see it and without fail it would always leave before I was able to watch it. I ended up forgetting about it for the most part until Ryan Hollinger did a video about it last year. Within a month of his video I discovered it on HBO Max, where I promptly added it to my watch list. While I’m glad I finally watched it, Severance is a flawed movie. It doesn’t necessarily handle the drastic shift in tone all that well.
That being said the tonal shift makes sense, especially with how the characters are written. The writers, James Moran and Christopher Smith, are able to write the kinds of people that are typically portrayed in an office setting. You could find a parallel character in either of the version of The Office. Smith is able to handle the shift in the way he directs the movie. The shift to a more horror focus tone added a frenetic energy that amped up the intensity greatly.
Each member of the cast is able to play their characters in such a way that you can see what type of character they are. It stars Danny Dyer, Laura Harris, Tim McInnerny, Toby Stephens, Claudie Blakley, Andy Nyman, and Babou Ceesay. I was wondering why Danny Dyer looked so familiar to me and it was because I had seen him in the movie Doghouse. I recognized Laura Harris’ name as soon as I saw it, mostly because of how many times I’ve seen The Faculty. All of the other cast members I was seeing for the first time. McInnerny plays his character in such a way that you not only dislike the boss but think that he might very well be the worst boss in the world.
The effects in the movie are surprisingly good. The only moment where they don’t look great is an explosion, but it makes everything shake. The shake seems to have been added in post and it looks awkward. The practical effects are pretty gnarly too. I want to point out the knife to the butt as a particularly nasty thing to happen. The music by Christian Henson is pretty good. The score helps the movie out in certain parts to really sell what’s happening and the same goes for the foley artist.
Severance is an uneven mix of horror and dark comedy that is still pretty interesting to watch. I don’t think this will be something I revisit all that often, but I wouldn’t say no if somebody wanted to watch it. I know this seems kind of negative, but it was enjoyable but just kind of meh to me. It’s leaving HBO Max at the end of the month, which is why I finally watched it. I give Severance 5.5 mysterious pies out of 10.