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  • Writer's pictureMartyn Wakefield


Dir. Richard Bates Jr.

Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield

It seems that this seasons must have genre accessory is a med school student. Fresh off the back of AMERICAN MARY comes EXCISION. A drama focusing on the coming of age of Pauline (AnnaLynne McCord) who lives with her domineering mother (Tracy Lords) spineless father (Roger Bart) and little sister Grace (Ariel Winter). Pauline has no problem in sharing her macabre thoughts with her school peers, standing out as the freak of the class asking “Can you get an STD from a dead person?” just one question weirding out her class.

Skipping school to focus on her medical studies, Pauline feels the wrath of her controlling mother as she ultimately tries to prove to her that she is as good as her younger sister who gets increasingly ill throughout the film. Harbouring the school bullies with her own fantasies, Pauline goes from Tim Burton emo to Eli Roth sociopath in the blink of an eye and her self-diagnosis of Multiple Personality Disorder becomes apparent in her dream sequences morphing the mundane reality with the blood soaked fantasy and obsession with blood, included with this is probably the most disturbing sex scene ever that will make you ask your partner why they are so wet before you go down on them.

Excision plays itself like a mainstream indie film (think JUNO, YOUTH IN REVOLT and ADVENTURELAND) film mixing dry humour with the mundane reality of life painted only this has been painted with the biggest bucket of blood you’re likely to see this year. Containing some very disturbing scenes and some dark witted one lines from Pauline, EXCISION feels perfectly mixed when it comes to the shocking ending. This ain’t Hollywood but this is likely to get a huge cult following very, very soon. The only part of this that some people might not enjoy is its biggest advantage over the genre. Playing more like a drama with dreams of horror than a dramatic horror film, the slow pace might not be what everyone expects with a heavy dialogue that’s both effective and slow moving.

McCord and Lords play perfectly as the hating mother and daughter with Lords putting her best performance since 1990’s CRY BABY. It’s all a shame then that at only 81 minutes long, Richard Bates couldn’t have squeezed in a little more of Pauline's ‘Wednesday Adams’ performance and dream sequence but when our only quarrel is we wanted more, EXCISION certainly has performed a flawless operation.

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