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|Index||76 reviews in total|
This film played as part of the 2012 Sydney Film Festival's "Freak Me
Out" section. Director, Richard Bates Jr, set out to make a movie that
he and his friends would have loved to watch in high school. This he's
achieved and so much more.
From the outset, Excision seizes your attention, with its deliciously macabre imagery and malevolent audio track. Unfolding amidst the perfect banality of middle class suburbia, the stage is set for a savage assault on your sensibilities.
Annalynne McCord is fantastic as Pauline - the slouched, ragged, blemished, sociopathic, vexed atheist, sangrephile*, virgin with surgical aspirations and necrophilic fantasies.
In fairness, the entire cast is impressive. You need to keep in mind that this film is the debut feature for a 25 y/o and he claims that persistence worked a charm in signing the talent -- including an Academy Award Winner!
But it's the fantasy sequences that will leave you truly in awe of Excision. Pauline's dreams are tantalisingly lurid, so utterly vile -- yet shot so beautifully. Luminous and vibrant, these scenes impact and leave a stain that won't come out in a cold wash. In fact, at least one person passed out at the screening I attended -- for real.
Far from wallowing in this depravity, Excision succeeds in exploring complex relationships, themes of religious zealotry and how problematic being a self-taught expert can be. All this and a killer soundtrack to boot.
I have to add that I had the extraordinary privilege of enjoying the greatest Q&A session in Sydney Film Festival history! Richard Bates was "slightly intoxicated" and proceeded to share some outrageous stories with us all. It caused a slight scandal, but, given the content of the film we all came to watch, his conduct was completely acceptable. Moreover, it was rare to see a person be so genuine and hysterically funny.
With his next project in the works, Richard Bates Jr just might be a name to keep an eye out for. I mean, if Peter Jackson can start with Bad Taste...I'm just sayin'... ;)
More importantly, for those of you with a taste for twisted film making - Excision is a must see.
*sangrephile - I made this up because I couldn't find a word for someone who loves blood & isn't a vampire!
In Excision, a high school misfit goes to great lengths to win over her
domineering, conservative mother. Although it's presented as a horror
film - and opened the Spooky Movie International Horror Film Festival -
it's a psychosexual thriller, rife with imagery set against a pastiche
of normative teenage angst and desperation. It is a brilliant,
provocative, unsettling film.
Pauline (AnnaLynne McCord) is the misfit. Scarred with acne and and overall unkempt look and poor posture, she is the poster child for unpopularity. But, like many cinematic rebels before her, she looks upon the idea of being liked almost with disdain. The opinions of others don't influence her.
Pauline aspires to be a doctor, but she is anything but a model student. She challenges her teachers and plays her classmates against each other for her own gain. She has no friends, and her therapy consists of visits to the local priest, whereupon she notes the hypocrisy of his understanding her moral issues when he's by definition pretty repressed himself.
She's part of a nuclear family. Dad Bob (Roger Bart) is a success at something, but he's under the thumb of his controlling wife Phyllis (Traci Lords). Sister Grace is the favorite of the family, partly because she's so nice and good and sweet but also because she is suffering from cystic fibrosis.
Of all the people with whom Pauline interacts on a regular basis, she cares only for Grace. She despairs of her sister's imminent death and wishes the same on her mother. Typical for a teenager, to an extreme perhaps.
Throughout the movie, Pauline sets particular goals for herself and then completes them, in opposition to her attitude toward school and life in general. When her mother forces her to be (at an advanced age) part of a cotillion, Pauline understandably ruins the affair. But when she wants to pursue a career in medicine, she goes to the library (cutting school) and researches her sister's condition.
You may well ask what the title implies. Something is being excised. We've already established that Pauline wants to be a doctor, but what is to be excised is something I cannot reveal here. On a less literal front, Pauline wants to excise her mother's influence from her own life and the pain and suffering from that of her sister.
This is not a movie for the faint of heart. It is not dripping with blood and contains no projectile vomiting, but Pauline's dreams - which include impromptu surgeries that equate to intercourse in her mind - are erotic, disturbing, grisly, and symbolic.
McCord nails the role of Pauline. Dolled up for the cotillion, she looks almost presentable, but even when she's her slovenly self you can see her beauty - eyes, wit, intelligence, smile - even if no one else in the movie can. McCord sells the film by subtly morphing Pauline from an outcast to a sociopath; at first, you take her for just another weird kid in the hall, but over time you see her as clearly losing her grip on reality.
And I didn't think I'd say this, but Lords is really good - in an ironic role - as the pushy, moralizing mom. Traci, you've come a long way, baby.
It's very hard to believe this is writer/director Richard Bates Jr.'s first film, feature or otherwise. The writing is tight, and he gets a lot out of his cast - which includes John Waters and Malcolm McDowell. It's a stunning debut.
I wasn't sure how the movie was going to end, although it was clear I was being led in a particular direction. I wasn't misled, but the conclusion is still a knockout; leaving just enough unresolved to be satisfying.
Excision is thrilling, a movie that will resonate with anyone who's felt unloved and with anyone who likes tales of revenge and redemption. It wisely picks a course and never goes too over the top with its set pieces. It's not a mild-mannered film, but it's also not an overwrought, ham-fisted gorefest. It's cleverly nuanced, achingly acted, and a mind- blowing masterpiece.
What a deserved change from the same old recycled junk out there. Now Im no professional movie critic, and I wouldn't even know what category Id place this movie, but to me it wasn't a horror. Whatever the genre is, Id like to see more like it. McCord did an excellent job and I hope she stays out of the mainstream roles. The cast delivered in a big way and sucked me in to the story. For some reason McCords character makes me think of Napolean Dynamite, but a sick, twisted and female version. I don't want to say much, you can form your own opinion. But it is a solid movie with good acting, great visual dream segments and a decent plot. So check it out if you want to see something weird and different and get some really good laughs along the way.
I didn't expect this movie to be actually interesting. it surprised me. It produced a series of behaviors that are usually promoted by the suburban lifestyle. the hysteric mother, the passive father, the children, wounded by the scars of their parents and the rest of the adults who curb with the appearance of normalcy. this reminded me of a lot of other crazy films. in a flash I thought about - we need to talk about Kevin- and -teeth-. it created a repulsive yet addicting chemistry by adding the overly styled mother and the nude- faced and imperfect daughter in the mix. delusions, sociopathy or simply cursed a non-compos mentis state, the daughter dreams climactic deaths drenched in blood and surgical cuts. It totally caught my attention and it managed to evoke the madness that stalks American families.
Overall i thought this film was superb! The acting was outstanding by AnnaLynne Mccord and Traci Lords who made the film well worth a watch. If you like your strange/obscene movies this is one definitely to watch. There are bound to be some negative reviews of this movie but trust me when i say this take no notice. If there is one criticism it would have to be the ending of the movie but i wont go into detail as don't want to spoil it for potential viewers. The director of the movie has made a fantastic movie especially for his debut and this will hopefully not be his only movie, i cant wait for the next movie of his! Overall strange, weird, exciting movie so give it a watch.
First I thought this movie would be purely splatter and gore but it turned out to be quite good yet tragic film. AnnaLynne McCord and Traci Lords gave strong performances that really carried the movie, particularly Lords who successfully left the Adult Industry and became a credible actress. I mentioned it was tragic as I really felt for the family struggling with a delusional elder daughter and a dying younger one. Kudos to the makeup artist(s) who worked on McCord making her character (Pauline) look like a really out-of-sorts teenager. There were scenes (in the Unrated version) where a lot of blood was involved coupled with some perverted scenes, but it worked in looking inside the mind of Pauline.
Not a typical horror or gore movie. Instead, this is a great pleading
for why it is necessary to pay attention to your children, instead of
ignoring the unpleasant things because they don't suit you. It's not
one I would watch again, but it was definitely worth one trip into the
minds of this family, the very kind of family we read about after some
tragedy, and notice everyone says "They were such a good family. They
seemed like such sweet children. Well, the older one was a little odd,
but isn't any awkward girl just a little odd?"
This line is added to convince IMDb's review writing parameters that I have typed enough about this movie to satisfy everyone, including the fact that I was not privileged to see this at any kind of festival and have no obsession with following any particular directors, actors or producers outside of common knowledge.
Excision is an artistically blood-soaked film that will have you squirm
in your seat one moment and laugh in the next, thanks to its cleverly
dark humor. I've never really seen a film quite like this as it's in
its own league of twisted shenanigans. The most unique character study
AnnaLynne McCord completely disappears into her character and gives an insanely off the wall, brilliant performance that will leave you bug-eyed. She plays Pauline, a disturbed 18-year-old high school student that has a strange fetish for blood. She desperately wants a career in the medical field and goes to the extreme to practice it, as she tries to get approval from her mother. Traci Lords also impressed me as the over controlling mom Phyllis, who tries hard to get through to her unbalanced daughter to no avail. She has a lot of layers to her character as she can be ruthless in one scene and caring in the next, I really felt sorry for her in the end. The rest of the cast was pretty impressive and you might recognize Ariel Winter from Modern Family who plays the younger sister Grace, who is ill with Cystic Fibrosis. The dad, Roger Bart plays Bob, he plays a helpless role of a guy stuck in the middle of the chaos. There are also appearances from John Waters, Malcolm McDowell and Marlee Matlin, which was entertaining to see them in the film.
Director, Richard Bates Jr. makes an explosive début as newcomer of this genre and has a bold eye that's unflinching. The disturbing style, nature mixed with the dark humor, yet at the same time visceral, is just bloody brilliant. He is one to look out for, as this is an insane first effort! Overall, Excision is not a movie for all tastes, but the bluntness, wit, dark humor, unapologetic attitude and blood drenched, stylishly brooding dreamscapes, made it refreshing and daring. The ending was shocking, but I was kind of unsure what to make of it. One of the more memorable horror offerings of 2012.
I loved every minute of this blacker than black, bloody, comedy, horror, weirdfest. I'm sure some will be shocked by certain scenes in the movie but they exist in an almost familyguy-esque fun cutaway way where there's little gross out value (well not for me anyway) but......try describing to someone some of the scenes included and see their reaction! On paper they sound quite shocking indeed (I'm not going to spoil them you'll have to see for yourself). Traci Lords (a bit of a strange childhood herself) plays Paulines mother really well as she creeps around uttering whatever thoughts pop into her (spotty) head. Her dreams (day and night) are filled with gallons of blood and bizarreness hard to imagine. I look forward now to recommending this rancidly funny little gem to those of my friends who watch pathetic romcoms or flicks with Adam Sandler in. Something much more strange to me than anything this movie threw up.
"Excision" is like a bolt of lightning from a clear blue sky. I hadn't
seen this coming, not by a long shot. I hadn't expected this movie to
turn out as disturbing and yet so profound at the same time.
This movie is close to being a one of the better movies I have seen in a long, long time. Especially because the movie slowly creeps in under your skin and just burrows deeper and deeper, festering like a cancerous wound. And that is just what makes the movie so interesting, because it is disturbing on so many levels.
What made the movie tick was the performance put on by AnnaLynne McCord who played Pauline, the young delusional woman with the issues and craving her mothers acceptance. She really put on a top notch performance here, because you really bought into the psychosis of the character and that her mental problems were real. Plus the make-up on her was also right on the money, because they made her seem like she really was close to death - and it matched her bizarre obsession with death and necrophilia very well.
And while we are on the topic of characters, then the Pauline character was really fleshed out so well, and the performance by AnnaLynne McCord was really helping to chisel out the aspects of the Pauline character. And there were so many times throughout the movie that you just wanted to reach out and slap her to make her come out of her delusions and psychosis. As I said, this movie will get under your skin and stick with you like a sore boil.
A word of warning though, there are some really, really vivid images throughout the movie, images that may be disturbing and shocking to some people in the audience. So I would definitely advice for viewer discretion here, as the imagery might not be suitable for just everyone. And also some of the topics that the movie deals with a heavy, socially taboo and things people don't talk about. As such, the movie deals a heavy blow that sits right in the gut, and it works so well.
I am not going to go into details about the storyline, because "Excision" is a movie that needs to be watched and experienced, not read about. If you haven't already seen the movie, I suggest you do so, but as I said above, be warned, the movie might sicken you or offend you in some way.
As bizarre and disturbing as "Excission" is, then I am giving this a clear and definitive 9 out of 10 rating. The movie was an odd surprise and really blew me away. I can highly recommend this movie.
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