Movie Review – Excision
The family were really good, dad Bob was a bit of a pushover when his wife bossed him around, little sister Gracie puts in a nice, sympathetic performance as the cystic fibrosis sufferer and the only person in Pauline’s life that’s actually nice to her. Traci Lords puts in a stunning performance as Phyllis, Pauline’s highly conservative mother. Phyllis is one of the biggest c***s in film I’ve ever seen, she’s rude, she’s judgemental, she always has criticize everything her daughter does, it’s even hinted that she hates Pauline but in her attempts to love her Pauline pushes her away making her hate her more.
But this is easily Annalynne McCord’s show, forget everything you think you know about her from 90210, she is f*ckin incredible in this film. Dressed down, she appears ragged, unwashed, actually very unattractive, not ugly but someone who would definitely turn you head for the wrong reasons. Pauline is a very f*cked individual, she has strange fantasies of necrophilia, sexual operations and even satanic visions a couple of times, although ironically enough she talks to God, mostly about killing her mother and saving her sister. Pauline doesn’t stay quiet, she’s a open girl, not afraid to show her true feelings. She’s perverse, she’s insane, but it’s a great character and McCord plays her well, adding enough sympathy in her performance so that we don’t hate her, but we don’t fully like her either.
Richard Bates Jr. does a really great job on the directing front, this being his feature debut I can‘t wait to see what he comes up with next. He already shows great knowledge of how the camera works, there’s a lot of scenes that have the camera focus on a character, since the film focusses a lot on it’s characters this helps show what the film wants. There’s also a few top down shots, these occur during Pauline’s fantasy sequences, with all her talking to God it gives the impression that someone higher than her is looking down in her dreams, her fantasies.
Bates makes the film feel almost like a teen drama but the main girl is off her fuckin head, someone said it’s Heathers if directed by Cronenberg and I have to agree with that, it avoids a lot of the conventions of the teen genre and those it does use it flips on it’s head. Take Pauline losing her virginity, that doesn’t come in at the end after a chase lasting the whole film, it comes in near the start and it’s freaky as hell, ending in one of the worst cunniligus moments of film ever.
What sets this film apart are the fantasy/dream/what-the-f*ck segments, it’s hard to tell what these things are because they pop up at random moments, whether Pauline is asleep, whether she’s getting herself off in bed, or whether she’s awake in class, it doesn’t matter. The things about this scenes though is that they are so vibrant, so bright and colourful and yet so dark and sinister, always filled with blood and gore and sickening things like that – The oven scene freaked me the f*ck out. I cant go into a lot of detail but these scenes are so incredibly strange yet unique that you just watch with rapt fascination of this character’s psyche and how her f*cked up mind works.
Also the ending, I won’t give anything away, let’s just say it’s scary, it’s gory and it’s a culmination of everything through the film leading up to this moment.
Overall, I did like this film. Forget for a moment that it’s strange as shit and f*cked up as all hell, it’s vibrant, it’s unique, it’s made really damn well and it’s got some great performances throughout with special mention to Lords and McCord. I recommend it but only to those of you with a strong stomach.