Excision is Richard Bates Jr.’s debut feature film. The film is best classified as a psychological dark comedy—however with the emphasis on dark, rather than on comedy. Excision plays with the viewers mind in an uncomforting new way, making it undoubtedly one of the most unsettling, disturbing, and eerie films I’ve ever seen (and not for gore value, but rather due to its subject matter)—making me feel uncomfortable and awkward during many of the films scenes, which I have yet to feel for any other movie.
It is rather difficult to review this film, as I would really not want to spoil anything for the readers that have not seen it, but I will try my best. Excision is essentially a film that follows a teenager (Pauline) who is sexually attracted to blood, with a fascination for surgical procedures. We are shown two sides to her personality in the film: one being her real, living self, where she participates within the compounds of the typical teenage lifestyle—for example, parental rebellion, sexuality, school conflicts, etc. While her other persona is represented through her fantasized dream world, where she is a beautiful surgeon, sexually ripping through an endless amount of flesh and blood from random humans. Although these two personas are introduced as separate identities, the audience is quickly shown that Pauline is not afraid to give in to her fantastical desires, regardless of what the real life consequences will be.
This film was exceptional. I believe it was probably one of the best narratives that I have seen in a long time. The cinematography is stunning. The acting was outstanding—especially to the main protagonist AnnaLynne McCord, whose role of Pauline is without doubt an award-winning performance. The themes and messages in the film were unique. The soundtrack was perfect. Literally, I can go on and on about how wonderful everything in Excision was, so I will end this segment by saying that I am extremely impressed with this film (especially as it is a debut feature) and I cannot wait for its DVD release so I can watch it again.
If you are a horror fan with a love for an extremely twisted, dark, and unsettling storylines, I would highly recommend this film.