Review: Excision (2012)


Excision is the kind of film that you either hear about a lot or you’re absolutely unaware of. First, I thought it’s just some low budget film that tries to shock people and I didn’t even want to read or research about the movie itself. I expected no/ little talent from the American bombshell starring as Pauline. I was just not impressed or attracted to the movie at all.

And then I watched it…

The movie spins around an 18 year old Pauline (AnnaLynne McCord) who is a “weirdo” and whose fetishes are blood, corpses and everything morbid. She doesn’t look after herself, her relationship with her mother (Traci Lords) is horrible or even inexistent .The only thing she cares about is becoming a successful surgeon and her sister, Grace (Ariel Winter), is a constant motivation to become a medical genius.

The amount of epic names in the movie is just superb: we have the memorable Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange), John Waters (This Film is not yet rated), Ray Wise (Twin Peaks), Traci Lords (Blade) and a few smaller names but still recognisable faces: Roger Bart (Hostel 2), Matthew Gray Gubler (Criminal Minds) and Jeremy Sumpter (Frailty).

The first scene of the movie perfectly introduced Pauline’s obsessions and the overall feel of the film. A duplicate of herself bleeds to death as she sits opposite watching; enjoying the ecstasy of her orgasm. I can’t express how genius that was. No words involved and yet you could totally get into Pauline’s mind.

All the characters are overdone. The mother, Phyllis, is a bitch that keeps annoying Pauline, you just have to hate her. At some point the mother is presented as a vulnerable, abused child of her own mother but it didn’t help to feel an emotional bond with her.

The father was spineless, mentally absent and constantly wronged by Phyllis – no point of him being there. The Sister, Grace, who suffers from cystic fibrosis, plays the role of the reality check that keeps punching the viewer in the stomach every time she appears. Such an innocent child, Phyllis’ favourite child and Pauline’s gates to her dream life.

And then we have Pauline- the main character. She’s the tough one. While all the other characters are labelled black or white, she is grey. Her obsessions are socially unacceptable, weird and disgusting and yet she’s still a likeable person. She’s almost a silent villain that you feel sorry for.

Pauline is a type of a character that we have seen on a screen a few times. The horror genre slowly goes to the point where we justify the evil, crime and the forbidden simply through getting to know the villain.

We have seen it in Carrie (the pyromaniac), May (the female doctor Frankenstein), Dexter and Maniac (the serial killers) and Breaking Bad (the drug cook and the killer).

It makes me think how would I react if I found out that my friend or relative is a monster inside? Would I hate them? Would I accept and justify their actions? It feels like those movies unconsciously prepare us for this moment and if it never happens –good for you! At least you can say you’re mentally prepared – HA!

Back to Excision.

The mix of reality and fantasy in Excision is magical. You can smell the art from miles and you just can’t help but overanalyse scenes hours after Excision showed the end credits. I have many theories about Pauline’s frequent erotic dreams, the family’s symbolism and all the geeky stuff. I just don’t know if that was intentional.

Everything could be an accident and beginner’s luck but I have to thank the people involved in the production of Excision. You know the movie is good when you’re surprised when it finishes and you crave for more.

It felt like I was watching a teenage comedy drama, not really a horror movie. It was more of a slow-burner with some gory fantasy moments and this is the charm of Excision.

The ending scene was like a face slap. I engaged in the movie too much. Some dreams of ours are meant to stay the dreams and even though the ending wasn’t like from a fairy tale it will stay in my head for a long time.

I also must mention that the artwork is just stunning! If you’re an artist you will definitely appreciate the surreal feel of the posters.

Overall I’m not ashamed to call Excision a new cult film, it’s not just a horror film, it’s an experience that stains and haunts you with “the ugly”. It was like a horror breeze or a genius fix that my mind longed since May. Great script, brilliant acting and chemistry between the actors. I just wish I haven’t seen it only so I could watch it again with the same intensity of emotions.

Plot: 9/10

Acting: 10/10

Gore: 5/10

Satisfaction: 9/10

Entertainment: 10/10

Rating: 9/10

Director: Richard Bates Jr.
Writer: Richard Bates Jr.<
Cast: AnnaLynne McCord, Traci Lords, Ariel Winter, Roger Bart, Jeremy Sumpter, John Waters, Malcolm McDowell

Music: Steve Damstra II, Mads Heldtberg

Year: 2012

6 Responses to Review: Excision (2012)

  1. Kylebaxter says:

    it really is relatable to any person who has suffered mental illness. Strong empathy needed to realize the full potential of this movie. It feels like the exhagerated, artistic impression of ones feelings that might be felt while dealing with a mental illness. the destruction of ones self image and denial and hatred steming from in some cases.this one gets you thinking for sure if your skewed enough to proudly relate to having been through stages and understand how desperate a human can be when starved of encouragement in our times of social isolation. And yes, suicide is real.

  2. the actress has no talent at all

    • Dimmu says:

      You obviously have failed to actually absorb the movie. I mean, to each his own but honestly. She wasnt supposed to be a good actress, she was an awkward, gawky teenager. And I think she did perfectly. Her performance isnt muddled up with flourishes from acting school, she just simply IS Pauline.

  3. Fairyvsdragon says:

    i didnt get the ending. it kinda sounded like her mother stabbed her. or were they hugging and screaming?

    • RetardedMammal says:

      The main character (forget her name) had killed the sister. There was blood everywhere, and the sisters eyes were open, unblinking.
      They were hugging though, the mother was screaming because her daughter was dead, and the main character just sorta standing there in her own sort of psychotic little euphoria.

  4. Jollyslasher says:

    I just watched it and… It blew my mind. I had no idea what to expect, didn’t even watch the trailer, and you can say that the title has nothing to do with the story. I felt it was like a gore American Beauty, really loved it !

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