Watched Severance the other day, chosen because it was written by James Moran, bloggist of renown and writer of the magnificent The Fires Of Pompeii and one of the good episodes of Torchwood. Actually, he’s writing everything at the moment; I imagine him to be like Bruno from Fame, tapping away on multiple keyboards simultaneously.
Severance was marvellous. A flawless example of how to make a low-budget film, and end up with something which doesn’t look like a low-budget film, but merely a film in which nothing particularly expensive happens. Apart from a bus flipping over.
The plot was well-constructed, with clever twists, clearly-defined characters, funny jokes, gratuitous female nudity, gruesome-but-not-too-gruesome deaths. Strong cast, well-directed... basically all good.
If I had to come up with criticism – a quibble to account for the missing ‘one’ from of a score of nine out of ten – it’d be that it includes a dream sequence. I’ve blogged about this before, it’s a particular bugbear of mine. Basically, Tim McInerney’s character is in love with this girl, we see her seduce him, then it all turns violent... and turns out to be all in his head.
My problem with this scene – which accounts for less than one minute of the film – is firstly that it’s unnecessary and doesn’t tell us anything about the characters that we’re not told more elegantly elsewhere. Secondly, that in a film like this, where its impact is reliant upon the audience buying into the situation, knowing that everything they see counts and has consequences, that to include a dream sequence works against that.
But on the other hand, there’s a great scene with a guy with his foot caught in a bear-trap, a lovely moment of black comedy as the people trying to free him make the situation worse.