Saturday, 18 October 2014

Dreaming of blood - Excision review

Excision is a glossy movie about a grubby girl who loves blood. Played almost ironicly by the Hollywood-beautiful AnnaLynne McCord, Pauline is the type of girl you stayed away from at school, her spotty skin, greasy hair and general awkwardness excasibated only by her knowing sociopathy. You quickly learn that this girl isn't you typical 18 year old when her first question in sex-ed class is "Can you catch an STD from a dead body?" You see her sexual fantasies materialise into dreams of astringent operating theaters, masses of bodies wrapped in bandages and writhing on bloodied corpses, all seemingly influenced by her strong interest in surgery.

The disapointment in her family, her mother (Traci Lords), is adament that she be interested in achieving a good husband and being lady-like. When it is obvious that she has got a "date" with a boy, her mother is glad that finally someone is interested in her, and dresses her up in the make-up Pauline reluctantly wears. Only we are know that this appointment to loose her virginity was planned to coincide with her period.

The one person Pauline truly cares about, other than herself, is her sister Grace (Ariel Winter), who suffers from cystic fibrosis. Is a disturbing train of thought, Pauline decides she can help her terminly ill sister and gain the approval of her mother in one go. I won't spoil that for you though.

Excision is a great effort for writer and director Richard Bates Jr., of which this was his first film. The gore of Pauline's fantasies stays firmly on the creepy side, and never indulges in the kind of gushing torture porn of contemporary horror. The clean sterile look, which kind of glistens in macabre delight, sets only to unnerve the audience more. This is not your typical, grungy horror film, filmed through a mud-like filter; this is the prestine world of a wannabe surgeon.

With cameo's from Malcolm McDowell and John Waters (as a preist!), Excision is a highly watchable, if a little disturbing, horror delight. The dark humour lifts what could be exploitative exploration into a deranged girls head, and the ending will leave you suprised and bemused for a long while. Though not the most daring tale of blood and madness, this film leaves just enough of an impression to imprint the imagery in your mind, and I will definately be interested in what Bates Jr. does in the future.



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