Corporate team-building is a concept that could strike fear into the heart of even the most jaded slacker. The possibilities for sending such gatherings up onscreen are endless, but supplying laughs and horror at the same time is a taller order. So group hugs for 'Severance' director Christopher Smith, who gets the ratio of gore to grins just right.

The hardworking London office of Palisade Defence are being rewarded for their money-making prowess with a team-building weekend at a luxury forest lodge in Eastern Europe.

Quite how a bungling boss (McInerney), his put-upon PA (Ceesay), a stoner (Dyer), two shy jobsworths (Blakely, Nyman), a yuppie (Stephens) and a bored American (Harris) have banded together to make their mark in the international weapons trade is anyone's guess, but CEO George (Gilliam) thinks they're worth it.

George isn't the only one with plans for his magnificent seven however - someone else is waiting in the woods for them. And once their bus goes off the beaten track and they have to go on foot towards the forest lodge, the chances of the Palisade crew making it back to the office for Monday morning become very remote. 

Described by its makers as "'The Office'-meets-'Deliverance'", 'Severance' is one of those films destined to be enjoyed on lads' nights in for years to come - and also has the potential to be a cult hit in the US. Put simply, it's the film 'Hostel' could have been.

With a great ensemble cast - including 'The Football Factory' and 'The Business' star Danny Dyer and former 'Blackadder' regular Tim McInnerny - director Smith piles on the black humour and bodies, but doesn't let either swamp the story.

By the end, you might feel a little guilty for laughing at some of it, but content that you can face work the next day with a smile on your face. Or at least a smirk.

Harry Guerin