31 Days of Horror
2. Excision (Richard Bates Jr., 2012)
[New to Me #311]
I had heard about this one earlier this year when it played at Sundance and was really excited to check it out. You can’t just make a movie with a ton of people I like and not expect me to be pumped, especially when that movie is apparently a black comedy with horror elements.
Turns out that this might just be one of the most interesting mixtures of a coming-of-age flick, your usual campy teen comedy, and a gory horror movie out there. Excision pulls you in right from the start, cutting back and forth between reality and Pauline’s dreams, and let me tell you, they’re both fascinating places. You would think the over-stylized dream sequences full of blood and bodies would be the film’s highlight, but the way this thing approaches a hell of a climax grounded in reality is what really impressed me. Being Richard Bates Jr.’s first movie, I can definitely say I am looking forward to what else might come from a mind as deliciously fucked up as this.
Again as part of my 31 Days of Horror, I’ll take a shot at Ryan Murphy by saying that he only fucking wishes he’d used AnnaLynne McCord as damn well as this when she was on Nip/Tuck. No, seriously. Remember that cute little sociopath Eden from Nip/Tuck? It’s been a scary transformation for her from then to now (in both looks and acting skills) and McCord seriously does a wonderful job as this gloriously fucked up teenager obsessed with blood and surgery. And yet, even with how messed up her character seems (seriously, this beats Dead Ringers in the fucked up surgeons category), you can’t help but find yourself sympathetic towards her at times.
All of the supporting roles might seem random and a little strange, but they are perfectly suited to make this a cult classic. Traci Lords is great as Pauline’s overbearing mother, and John Waters amused the hell out of me in a role as a reverend that I would have never expected. You’ve got Ray Wise in a role that might fit in just fine back in Twin Peaks, Roger Bart as a submissive father, Matthew Gray Gubler as a sex ed teacher, Malcolm McDowell as a bitchy math teacher, and Ariel Winter as Pauline’s sister in scenes that will leave you forgetting all about her role on Modern Family.
It’s funny, it’s bloody, and it’s a hell of a debut feature. [3.75/5]