Thursday, 3 January 2013

Excision (2012)

Richard Bates Jr is one of those directors that comes along every so often and blows you out of the water.  He may only be one full feature into his career, but it's definitely one to get excited over.  Excision is a modern masterpiece and I mean that.  This movie is just so unique; it's a horror comedy at heart that manages to be funny, disturbing and gross, while also being heartwarming, sentimental and on some levels, identifiable.  In high school, everyone knew a girl like Pauline (a much less exaggerated version, of course).  By that I mean, we all knew a weird kid who got picked on.  I remember a girl at my school who had a horrid time and Pauline reminded me of her.  This movie has so many dimensions.  It's a story about social outcast who's alienated from her peers, her troubled family (especially her mother), her church and her teachers.  It deals with the awkwardness of sexuality as a teenager and the coming of age into adulthood.  These are the core themes of the movie but Richard Bates has thrown in some body horror, deranged dream sequences and lots of uneasy moments to make this one of the best horror movies to come out... ever.  It's also one of the best dramas, comedies and character studies in recent history.  Maybe it's too soon to call it one of the best horrors of all time, but it's certainly one of the best that's came about in my lifetime.

I mean it.  This is a guaranteed cult classic and it's going to split opinions.  So far reviews have been very polarising, but with a movie with this much experimentation it's bound to happen.  Fortunately though, the experiments pay off.  In fact, they come together seamlessly.  Imagine if John Hughes and David Cronenberg in the 80's made a movie.  Throw in some David Lynch, Todd Solondz and Alejandro Jodorowsky and you have an idea and it mixes together with ease.  I really can't praise this enough.  I laughed, I cringed, I related on an emotional level and at times I felt genuinely disturbed.

There's a few recognisable faces on board, in particular genre favourites such as John Waters, Ray Wise and Malcolm Mcdowell.  We also have that dude from Desperate Housewives who was also in Hostel.  The stars of the show are Traci Lords and even more so, Annalynne McCord, who not only escapes her 'Naomi from 90210' image, but she makes Pauline her own.  This was a demanding role and she sells it more than convincingly.  If movies like this won Oscars then she'd be shoe in.  Richard Bates' imagery is very macabre and at times, dream like.  Despite its depravity at times, it's rather beautiful to watch.

Overall, a masterpiece but see it for yourself and decide.  It's an opinion divider for sure.  I found it to be sick, twisted, yet tender and emotional fun.  At it's heart, it's a teenage/family angst story turned up to extreme volumes.


  1. My favorite film of 2012 and thought it was also hitting on mental disorders over teen issues ... I don't know if I am over reaching in just how much depth I found in this film, its just the way I found it and it moved me and made me reflect on things to an extent ... either way the film regardless is really well done and pretty artistic