10:20 PM | Excision, Horrorpalooza 2012, Reviews with 0 comments »
“Excision” is one of those films that I’ve personally been waiting for. The film is based on the short film that Richard Bates Jr. did back in 2008. That short film earned rave review including one by yours truly. It also played at many film festivals. When I saw the first trailer for this film, I was blown way. I had lot of expectation going into this film, considering it played at Sundance and Fantasia this year
The film follows Pauline (AnnaLynne McCord), an unattractive high school girl, who hates her mother (Tracy Lords) with a passion while caring for her chronically ill sister (Ariel Winter). She always dreams about losing her virginity to one of the school’s popular classmates. This leads her down a road of psychological fantasies that deals with her performing graphic surgery. Soon, Pauline is willing to make her delusional dreams become reality to save her sister. The film also features appearances from Roger Bart (Hostel Part II, Law Abiding Citizen, American Gangster), Malcolm McDowell (The Artist, A Clockwork Orange, Rob Zombie’s Halloween, HBO’s “Entourage”) and cameos from Ray Wise, director John Waters, and Academy Award® winner Marlee Matlin.
Going into this, I was going in wondering if this was going to expanse on the short film that I watched two year ago. Would it bring more depth to the story and makes this worth watching it as a feature film? Thankfully, the answer is yes. “Excision” is one of the most shocking films that I’ve seen this year.
The first reason that this film succeeds on all levels was writer/director Richard Bates Jr. and his direction. This film has a lot of scenes that are very gory and disturbing to watch. One of things that he does very well, he carefully makes sure that visuals are very twisted and frightening. Bates Jr. does that to make you see the main character’s state of mind from a visual perspective, as it comes off as very sick and flat out demented. It helps the film feel more different and more ambitious than the film’s original short.
The other thing that I really liked about the direction was the acting. I was truly surprised that the main performances were excellent. It’s something that I can’t say for many of these horror films that I watch. Bates Jr. does a very good job making the film also be about the performances. It takes the film to another level. I truly though AnnaLynne McCord and former adult film star Traci Lords did great jobs in the way that brought emotional depth into their performances. It made them stand out from the film’s story. Also, they did a very good job working well with each other. It made the troubled mother/daughter dynamic work so well, which also helped the overall film.
Bates’ screenplay does a very good job developing the main character from the original short. One of the things that makes this screenplay different, it spends a lot of time on the main character’s state of mind. I liked, the way that he goes into the various delusions that are running in the main character’s head. It makes the character interesting and also focuses more on her obsessions and her thoughts. The other thing that makes this very good and different was the fact that the story also focuses on the main character’s troubled relationship with her mother. It was briefly touched upon in the original short, but it’s expanded very well here. It led to some very good dramatic moments between the characters that kept my interest in the story considering that I already watched the original short film.
Don’t be surprised to see this film pop again, if I decide to do a year- end list.
“Excision” is a great feature film debut from director Richard Bates Jr, as is one of those directors that horror fans should keep their eye on. This is one of those films that horror fans should check out, as this has shocking visuals and great performances from AnnaLynne McCord and Traci Lords.
Review Rating: Five Stars