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.
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