Some would call Excision gross, horrifying, disturbing or downright nasty. Just take a look at the media photos. The whole movie is like that. But I don’t call it any of those things... I call it clever.
This is director Richard Bates Jr.’s extended remake of the 18-minute short Excision that came out in 2008.
The film is centered on Pauline (AnnaLynne McCord), a disturbed high school girl who is a complete outcast among her peers. She wants to become a surgeon, and her obsession with blood is made very clear throughout the film. Pauline's only real friend is her sister Grace (Ariel Winter), who might pass away due to her cystic fibrosis.
Pauline’s relationship with her mother Phyllis (Traci Lords) actually worsens here fragile mental state, and behind the jokes and gross out scenes, we start to see a girl who’s really just starved to be accepted.
So it does have some heart, not just lungs.
This all culminates in the most shocking final scene you will see in any Sundance Film Festival movie this year. The film is also littered with “OMG” moments, but I won’t give any of those away here.
The visuals were incredibly clever, but will also haunt you for days. These horrific images usually come up in Pauline’s dreams. I were extremely impressed with the photography in this film.
Another clever element is Pauline’s conversations with God, which have nothing to do with the film’s reverend (John Waters). “I couldn’t bring myself to read a book with so many mixed reviews,” she says about the bible to God.
Amazing performances all around, but my hat goes off to Traci Lords and AnnaLynne McCord, who play the characters in the film who are so disturbing in such different ways.
A short before the film deals with the reanimation of a dead chicken and then the struggle to kill it again. It was funny, sad and kind of disturbing. The perfect set up for this film.
And that shocking final scene I mentioned before will leave you wondering what happens next. But I don’t want to find out. As it stands now, this film has the potential to be a cult classic on its own.
And a perk for being press at this film: Free shwag. They gave me this knit hat along with this umm... nevermind