Pauline just wanted to help her little sister.
I watched a recent video where director Richard Bates Jr. recalled his casting of AnnaLynne Mccord in the starring role of his feature film debut Excision. He basically shrugged her off after several attempts from her people trying to get in touch with him for the role. Bates talked about how he felt casting Mccord in the main role of Pauline would be "offensive" to his audience because of her previous roles in stuff like Nip/Tuck and 90210. So, after blowing her off a bunch of times, he finally agreed to arrange a meeting and she basically blew him away with her crazy dedication to the role. After watching Excision I am completely certain that no one else on Earth could have played Pauline as dead on as AnnaLynne Mccord.
Excision tells the story of an awkward teenage girl named Pauline (Mccord) who has aspirations of becoming a professional surgeon while also having an odd blood fetish. She lives with her parents and younger sister named Grace (a super cute Ariel Winter) who happens to have a terrible case of cystic fibrosis. Her parents are played by the legendary Traci Lords who does a great job of conveying an insufferable, controlling mother while Roger Bart plays the neutered father perfectly.
The film takes liberties in conveying how absolutely awkward and strange Pauline apparently is (there's a fucking crazy scene that unravels once she decides to choose a suitor to lose her virginity with) and it is all thanks to the amazing acting work by Mccord. As I said earlier, she really digs deep and loses herself in the role and becomes the embodiment of the character in such a way...it really is hard to imagine anyone else playing Pauline. Think Angela Bettis in May. She's that good in this.
Excision is an original foray into the madness of an obsessive young mind and really plays on the horrors of the noncomforming psychopathic lengths an individual will take to live out his/her dreams. It is gruesome in its detailed descents into weirdly alluring daydreams with its surgically ethereal backdrops...while also being quirky with its matte-black humor. I'd love to see more films like this come out every year.
The writing is sharp and the acting is top shelf. None other than Malcolm McDowell and John Waters turn up in bit parts, for Christ's sake! And Richard Bates Jr. really does a fine job with all the materials given. Knowing when to gross out his audience at just the right time while also finding the comedic timing within the body horror of it all.
Perhaps my biggest complaint comes in the final moments. You basically know where the film is driving towards and when those events finally come your way, there's no real resolution or consequence. It just sort of happens and your left feeling a little cheated. Your time has already been invested in all the memorable performances and the darkly clever dialogue...so, when it all comes to its conclusion, you kinda want more than what you're given. I would say that it all feels like a short film that has been stretched out into a feature for the sake of running time. And, technically, that's what it is. Bates basically took his short student film and turned into Excision.
In the end, Excision is a quirky little horror film generous with its genuine comedy and heart-wrenching decisions. It's probably not going to be remembered as much as something like the previously-mentioned May clearly is in horror circles but, it definitely delivers more originality and disturbing grue than most films released in the genre these days. Definitely recommended!
AnnaLynne is freaky and we like her alot!
Thanks for reading,