Aki Vs. Evil: Severance

These people get into shit because of overconfident corporate middle management. Well, that’s a starting point… Also, while many low budget films are shot in eastern Europe, specifically Bulgaria, this actually takes place there.

Spoilers.

A sales team of a large weapons manufacturer are on a team building retreat in Bulgaria, when they get diverted from their path and end up in the wrong lodge. First, strange things start happening, such as weird growling sounds, weird figures in the background and a human tooth in a pie. Then, one of them sees a man looking into their room at night, which alerts them to something being wrong… not that enough of them react early enough to help.

So, a pretty classic setup except instead of students or similar group of young people, we have adults, many of whom act worse than students. They are also classically cut off from being able to leave. Another common element in these movies is an urban myth (can I call it urban, if it’s only told in the countryside?) hinting to the nature of the threat. There is also a final girl of sorts.

Among things we don’t get is some of the more common archetypes in these movies. We don’t have a slut with his athletic boyfriend. We do have a stoner (or actually as a British movie, this character is more interested in ecstacy and shrooms than weed, although he does mention that as well), but he isn’t very laid back.

The humor is quite gruesome at times. For example, there’s a discussion between two characters about how decapitated people can stay conscious for some time after that fact. Soon this guy gets the satisfaction of being right after witnessing his own headless body. He even smirks a bit.

The movie isn’t afraid of being political either. When the team manager tries to defend their company by proclaiming that how could the company be immoral, when there’s members on it’s board from both countries (meaning the UK and the US), we quickly see that not everyone agrees with this sentiment (which is quite understandable).

The movie lives in a weird space. It definitely feels like a horror comedy, but unlike many of the better ones I’ve covered, it’s not fun in the same way. It does have jokes, but they don’t even feel like ones that aim for laugh-out-loud moments. There’s one quite stupid joke near the end, though.

This does work better as a horror movie than a comedy. It does have interesting enough takes on various tropes and cliches to be worth a watch, even if it’s somewhat forgettable. Not a classic, even in this sub-genre, by any means, but good enough not to regret using 90 minutes on this.

One thing of interest you don’t often see: The surviving members of the team are actually saved by local sex workers in the end.

Another thing I don’t remember ever seeing before: There’s a credit for Corporate Video Office Blondes.

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