excision

Excision

This movie looked pretty intriguing, but admittedly I didn’t really know much about it going in.  Mostly I just heard a bit of positive buzz, nothing I could specifically put my finger on, and seen some screen shots of some of the fucked up gory surreal shit and figured this would be a movie worth checking out. 

Hmmm, well I’m not so sure I’d even really call this a horror movie.  It’s got some bizarre gross out, arthouse type shit in it, but to be honest, a lot of it feels a bit tacked on to the movie.  I can see what they were going for, but I’m not convinced this movie really 100% works.  Basically what you have here is a mash up between a serious, psychological horror where you are given access to the mind of a burgeoning psychopath as they begin their decent into madness before acting on their impulses (think something along the lines of the beginning of Rob Zombie’s Halloween if it were stretched out for 2hrs and had an internal monologue) combined with an awkward coming of age indie comedy.  It’s kind of a bizarre mix, like if the main character in The Wonder Years ended up being a sociopathic killer, but still had all the same squirmy embarrassing high school drama shit happen to them at the same time, and if they were a girl.

The main character in the movie, Pauline, is played by AnnaLyne McCord, whom my wife tells me is actually from the new Beverly Hills 90210 TV show, and even though you would not know it from this movie, is pretty damn hot.  For this role hower, she dons some incredibly convincing (likely due to the subtlety) prosthetics that throw off all of her features just enough to make her look pretty much flat out ugly.  She’s got weird posture, greasy hair, zits and eyebrows that are too bushy for their own good. 

Pauline is obsessed with becoming a surgeon, and the weirdo surrealist gore shit comes in the form of her dreams, which are shown throughout the movie.  Some tie in with events of the movie; like she has a dream where she self aborts a fetus and hands it to a dude who puts it into an oven where it explodes right after she loses her virginity and is afraid of becoming pregnant.  But most are pretty much random shit involving surgery, naked chicks, lots of heavy breathing and some blood bathing.   Oh yeah, and the shit she imagines while she’s banging this dude while on her period is pretty nasty, with the whole bed and the guy getting drenched in her period blood, yummy.  Frankly though, this description is probably making you think this movie is better than it actually is.

See, the main thrust of the movie is less about the above, and much more about the tenuous relationship between Pauline and her bitch of a mother, Phyllis, played by a pretty haggard looking Traci Lords.  Phyllis is one of those over-domineering mothers/wives that are incredibly effective in getting you to root for the rebellious teenager in these types of movies.  Phyllis wants Pauline to fit into her neat little imaginary picture of what the ideal, God fearing pretty teenage girl should be, and at the same time massively favors Pauline’s sister, Grace who has Cystic Fibrosis.  As you can imagine, Pauline wants zero to do with that, and heads butt, often, throughout the course of the film.  And really that’s pretty much the whole movie.  Pauline imagines wack sick shit, argues with her mom, sluts it up at school, gets in pissing matches/fights with popular girls, etc.  It isn’t until the very end of the movie that anything “horror” really happens.  Oh, and Pauline pulls out and sniffs her own bloody tampon, so there’s that.

Now, I don’t think this was a bad movie.  I just don’t think it comes off as nearly as shocking or horrifying or even funny as the filmmaker likely intended.  Yeah, it’s got some gore and there are some genuinely funny parts in the movie, but to be perfectly honest, I found the dream imagery to be a bit on the cheeseball side.  It reminded me of the ridiculous tripe you might see in one of the middle era Cradle of Filth music videos mixed in with some "Saw Blood Driv"e style sensibilities: basically, trying to hard to be shocking and artsy and coming off as corny.  Also, even though Pauline does and says some funny shit in the movie (she literally asks her sex-ed teacher if you can catch an STD from a dead body), her character is not really one you can relate too because she’s arrogant, unlikeable, and cartoonishly lacking self-awareness.  The only reason you can side with her at all is because her mother is such an uptight twat, so I guess I have to hand it to Traci Lords as she definitely succeeded in playing an incredibly unlikeable overbearing prim’n’proper bee-atch of a mother.   

They even throw in some cameos from recognizable cult and horror figures like Malcolm McDowell, John Waters and Ray Wise to try and appeal to fans of those generes but if you’re going into this expecting horror or something totally revolting or shocking like it’s being advertised, you’ll likely come away scratching your head. 

If you’re curious after reading the above, give it a shot, maybe you’ll like it more than I did.  If the movie’s IMDB page is any indication there’s certainly oodles of people out there who think this movie is brilliant and/or horrifying, so maybe you’ll be one of them.  I think it was worth seeing once, but I likely won’t be revisiting this one again.

-Sweetooth0

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