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Sundance 2012 Review: EXCISION - Most Disturbing Film at Sundance

Movie Review Sundance by Joey Paur

Every year I've come to Sundance I've seen a film that just shocked the hell out of me. As we are nearing the end of the festival, I wasn't sure if I was going to see that kind of film this year, but I did, and it was insane. Excision was a extremely disturbing and twisted movie that I can't get out of my freakin' head. There are visuals and images that are now forever burned into my memory, and that's not a good thing. 

I'm not saying the film was bad because it wasn't. It was actually very well made. It just had a extremely dark and demented story. Would it make sense if I told you that I enjoyed watching the film, but didn't think it was fun? This was a hard movie to watch, because of how incredibly twisted and evil it was, but that's also one of the reasons I liked it. If you can't already tell, I'm conflicted about this movie, because I don't think I should have liked it. I have a love-hate relationship with this movie.

The film centers on a dementedly crazy teenage girl name Pauline, who fantasizes about dead people, gushing blood, and brutal gore. She gets off on this stuff and has these insane dreams with jacked up visuals. It's these visuals I can't shake from my head. I need to clean my brain somehow. She has it in her head that she will be a surgeon without having to take the steps to actually becoming one. She's 100% delusional in the creepiest ways imaginable. Hell, I'm not even sure if you can imagine some of the stuff that was thrown into this movie. It was shocking! Even for me, and I'm a hard person to shock. There were times where I just didn't feel comfortable looking at the screen. There was some humor mixed in with everything, and I laughed, but I think I was laughing to calm my nerves. There was an uncomfortable laughter in the audience all throughout the movie. It's sure to cause some controversy due to its subject matter. I'm actually surprised I haven't heard any complaints yet.

The movie was written and directed by Richard Bates Jr. who obviously isn't right in the head. The film stars AnnaLynne McCord, Traci Lords, Ariel Winter, Roger Bart, Jeremy Sumpter, and John Waters. Everyone in the movie did a fantastic job, pulling off their roles in a tough film.

I can't recommend this movie to all of you. There might only be a select few that would enjoy watching a movie like this, and I think you would have to be a little sick in the head. Last year the most shocking film I saw was The Woman, but I honestly this this one tops it in terms of shock value. If that's what the director was going for, he wins. 

Here's the Synopsis:

Pauline isn’t your typical teen. She picks scabs, dissects road kill, and fantasizes about performing surgery on strangers. Her fascinations disturb her parents and her classmates. Pauline reserves special disdain for “the church” and her “therapist,” Reverend William, who, in Pauline's mind, is in no position to judge, or indulge in, her psychosexual fantasies. No one understands Pauline except for Grace, her younger sister, who suffers from cystic fibrosis. An outcast at school and at home, Pauline decides she is ready to lose her virginity. . . and this is when the weirdness really begins.

Richard Bates Jr. directs the hell out of this film with an expert understanding of multiple genres. Elements of horror, teen comedy, and cult classic are blended into a bone-jarring vision and peppered with great performances from the likes of Traci Lords and John Waters. But it is AnnaLynne McCord’s hideously captivating performance as Pauline that we may never forget. Excision will burrow under your skin and remain with you long after the lights come on.

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