Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Excision

I took a stab at this movie after hearing a lot of great things about it online and went into it without taking the time to watch any of the trailers for the movie. Looking back on it I probably should have prepared myself properly for the mind fuck that I was about to experience. This movie is fucked in the head and it never lets up for one moment. Richard Bates has crafted one of the weirdest and most disturbing movies that you will ever see or care to see.

Excision follows a high school student, Pauline (AnnaLynne McCord), who seems to be in a continual awkward phase. She has no friends besides her younger sister, Grace (Ariel Winter), who has been stricken with cystic fibrosis. Her mother, Phyllis (Traci Lords), is trying to get Pauline to break out of her shell and become more social in order to fit in with her classmates. But when your daughter is continually having vivid dreams about performing surgery on her classmates and having what could only be described as "blood" fantasies, your efforts can only go so far.

This movie was over the top in a really weird type of way. The first minute of the movie really sets the tone and there is no break from the insanity, you are in the mind of one truly fucked up teenager for the duration of the movie. The director tried so incredibly hard to make AnnaLynne McCord look disgusting and he manages to do it pretty successfully, she walks like a caveman, has pimples all over her face, and they try and hide all of her curves. The only times she looks like a smoke show are in the fucked up dream sequences in the movie where you barely pay attention to the way she looks. She plays Pauline as a modern day Carrie, she is withdrawn from society and has this delusion in her mind that she is going to be a great surgeon, meanwhile she can't pass Algebra. She is a sociopath  in the movie and she hits it right on the head in an internal monologue when she says that all teenagers are sociopaths. They only need to care for themselves and the betterment of their own situations. McCord is fantastic in the movie and proves that she isn't just another pretty face in the crowd.

Traci Lords also turns in an exceptional performance in the movie as the concerned mother of the main character. Lords perfectly captures what it must be like for a parent that is juggling the responsibilities of caring for a sick child, a lazy husband, and a socially awkward daughter. It is hard to believe that she was blowing dudes for paychecks in the 80's because she has turned out to be a pretty decent actress. This movie will not win her any awards but it does show that she is able to act in movies other than shitty ones produced by the SyFy Channel.

Now we get to the meat of the movie, the horror. There isn't a ton of horror elements in the movie until the last 10-15 minutes or so and it actually works to the movie's advantage. It spends a lot of time developing the characters and moving the story forward in a realistic way. For most of the movie it is really similar in a way to a psychological thriller/ black comedy. We know that the main character is bat shit crazy and we are just waiting for everyone else around her to get a taste of her crazy. The imagery in some of the dream sequences seems like it was ripped directly from The Cell, and is really disturbing. It is weird when  can describe the disturbing dream sequences as being beautiful, and that is a credit to the direction of Richard Bates and his team. They did an excellent job of making everything "work" in the context of the story they crafted. This is a movie that is going to disturb you way more than it will scare you.

This is not a movie for everyone, if you really like horror movies then I would recommend this to you. Excision is a special type of deranged that only a handfull of other movies have been able to match. There are going to be points in this movie that will stay with you long after you are done watching it. The sex scene in the movie is especially disturbing and there is no way that I am going to spoil it, you need to see it for yourself. If you are a horror fan then this is a MUST SEE, and an AVOID AT ALL COSTS if you are not a horror fan.