Skip to main content

Day 6 of my 31 days of horror brings us Excision

2012
Directed By Richard Bates Jr

Starring: AnnaLynne McCord, Richard Bart, Ariel Winter, Traci Lords, Malcolm McDowell and John Waters


An awkward but intelligent teenage girl (McCord) obsessed with blood, surgery and losing her virginity struggles to save her sister.  I guess that sums up Richard Bates Jr.’s 2012 horror/comedy/mindfuck of a movie, but trust me when I say that it is far more than that brief summary. 
Excision has brilliant performances and style for any film maker let alone a first time director.  There are images in this film that will stay with me for years to come.  Bates takes shocking subject matter and photographs it like a sunset or a spotted owl, the grotesque is treated with reverence and awe.

While his approach might have some people immediately crying torture porn or blood porn or perhaps some other buzzword that’s used in lieu of actual critical analysis, they would be flat out wrong. It’s that approach that allows the viewer into the mind of our protagonist. At first these glimpses into Pauline’s mind are played for comedic effect but as the film plays out we become more aware of how deeply troubled our teenage lead truly is.

This film feels very deliberate and controlled. The pacing and mood shifts are all dealt with precision and care. Early on it becomes clear that we are in the hands of a storyteller who wants us to experience something unique. This is not a film that has style simply for the sake of having style. While the film is beautifully shot the look is always in service of the story.

The tone of this film shifts from fairly light to completely nuts. The tonal shift is gradual and while we are given hints throughout the film of how screwed up Pauline might be, like the people in her life we the viewers of this film overlook her behavior and ignore all the warning signs. We are shown what is clearly the behavior of someone in desperate need of psychological treatment and tell ourselves that she is just quirky and we are thereby complicit with her actions.  We are held responsible for one of the more troubling endings to a film that I have seen in a long time. This is not an easy film to watch but I’m glad that I have seen it and look forward to revisiting it in the near future.

Bates has a film that was released earlier this year called Suburban Gothic and I have a feeling he might be a director to keep an eye on.

Excision is available on demand through Showtime and Starz for rental or digital purchase through Amazon, Vudu, iTunes and YouTube and by subscription service through Netflix

 Looks like you might have to rent this one.  If you are lucky enough to have a video store nearby chances are it’s a mom and pop operation so do us all a favor and please support them.
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Richard Armitage interview on SLEEPWALKER

SLEEPWALKER is the latest film from director Elliott Lester. Troubled by bouts of sleepwalking and disturbing nightmares, graduate student Sarah Foster goes to her university's sleep research center for help. When she wakes up after her first night of being monitored, the world she lives in seems to have changed in subtle, Twilight-Zone-esque ways. In fact, every time she goes to sleep now, she wakes up in a slightly different version of her world. With the help of sleep researcher Dr. Scott White, she tries to work her way back to the reality she started in. But when they finally succeed, it’s revealed that Sarah’s world is not what she thought at all.

Today my guest is one of the stars SLEEPWALKER, Richard Armitage. Tonight we talk about his work on that film as well as his work as Thorin Oakenshiled in The Hobbit Films, as John Proctor in The Crucible, and his upcoming films Ocens 8 and the Julie Delpy directed film My Zoe.

Sleepwalker is Now Available on Digital HD and On Dem…

99 FROM 99: Cruel Intentions

On our latest episode of99 FROM 99, one host discovers some disturbing secrets about his co-host. All will be revealed in this episode on guilty pleasure CRUEL INTENTIONS! Namely that one host disagrees with the verdict of feeling guilt for enjoying this look at the cutthroat world of the powerful and wealthy transported to the realm of high school drama. Meanwhile the other host just feels bad for Selma Blair and all parties involved, including our dear listeners. Did we mention to give us a follow and a listen at the links below? Support what we do with bonus content and early episodes onPatreon Listen iTunes/Podbean Facebook/Instagram/Twitter: @99from99

THE GRAND GESTURE: That Awkward Moment

We bring on "The King of Cringe" for THAT AWKWARD MOMENT, something our guest JARED DOTSON of SOBER CINEMA takes issue with. However much to our surprise, he does not take issue with this not so well regarded romcom from 2014 starring Zac Efron, Michael B. Jordan, and Miles Teller as three guys making a pact to navigate single life together after one friend's marriage ends. And while the romances don't particularly work here (except for the one with the great Mackenzie Davis who makes any role work) this boys club movie ends up having its own particular charms. Like a combination of ice cream and bourbon this one goes down easy in our latest episode you can find here and at the links below:
Listen on iTunes/Podbean
Facebook/Instagram/Twitter: @grandgesturepod Hosts: Dave @pccasestudy Mike @warmachinehorse Email us your favorite romantic grand gestures in film at grandgesturepod@gmail.com Theme music by Soft and Furious Intro: "Am I Drunk or in Love" Outro: