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As a rule, I stay away from horror/slasher flicks. Who needs to have all that gore sloshing around in one's imagination? I'm familiar with the argument that these films provide young men with a ritual opportunity to display their unflinching bravery while girlfriends burrow into their shoulders with awestruck admiration. I'd have flunked. I well remember going to the men's room seven times (at least) when I saw Alien, in Nashua, New Hampshire, in 1979.

But Severance attracted me for two reasons. One, Toby Stephens. Mr Stephens is the son of Maggie Smith, but I didn't know he existed until I rented a video about the late Princess Margaret, The Queen's Sister. Mr Stephens plays Anthony Armstrong-Jones, Lord Snowdon. I've since read that he prefers the stage to the screen. If that's actually the case, then his participation in Severance is hard to explain.

Or perhaps it isn't. Severance is a first-class satire that is long on menace and short on actual horror. If it were a porn movie, you wouldn't see anybody's privates. A great deal is left to the imagination, which, in my case, certainly rose to the occasion. I was glued to my seat, however, because the movie is also very funny.

The second draw was basic: an eleven-o'clock screening at the Angelika. Once I leave Yorkville, the Angelika is the easiest theatre to get to in all of New York. (The 86th Street East, across the street from my apartment, is showing Shrek III on all four screens. What's one to do?)

I still can't believe that I went to see Severance.


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I remember Toby Stephens from Die Another Day.. Pierce Brosnan's last James Bond Movie. He was the main villain Gustav Graves. He was the only thing worth watching in that film, which I must say, was pretty baaaad!!!

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