May 12, 2017 by Kareem Youssef
The directorial debut of Richard Bates, Jr.’s and filmed in a mere 28 days, Excision is not shy. Within seconds you, the audience, is treated to the vivid psychosexual dream sequence of Pauline. Pauline is delusional teenager with grandiose ideas of having surgical skill and major opposition to authority. Similar scenes are peppered throughout the film In conjunction Pauline praying despite her being an atheist. These are great devices’ that reveal her mental state; a budding dark triad of Narcissism, Machiavellianism, and Psychopathy. With all theses pathologies Pauline is still empathic and shows a high range of emotions. I give the credit to AnnaLynne McCord who is terrific in her use of syntax, facial impressions, and gait to create a fully believable, fleshed out character.
This indie film boasts impressive line of cameos Malcolm McDowell , Matthew Gray Gubler, Ray Wise and John Waters.
The family dynamic is established in quick succession; a sister with Cystic Fibrosis, an emasculated father, and controlling mother. while constantly at odds there multiple scenes of compassion and love between them. The movie is straightforward and lays out a clear path you follow along with the characters. Pauline and her mental illness itself is a character you see grow. ultimately all the curiosities and awkward encounters builds to severely agonizingly and horrific ending. Pauline indulges in her delusions and attempts a lung transplant on her sister killing her and a neighbor girl she kidnapped (for the lung). It’s one of those ending that seems inevitable but you put off thinking it might happen.
Her mother finds her bloodied in the garage admiring her work. At first proud at the surgery, the agony is the emotional Self-realization that she is sick and murdered two girls. The visuals are; Powerful, harrowing, violent, and sublime. It’s most certainly worth watching.