Every once in a while a film comes along – Laugier’s Martyrs, Cronenberg’s Twins, von Trier’s Antichrist – that transcends conventional horror tropes to produce something challenging, thoughtful and even profound: Excision is just such a film.
The usually glamourous TV starlet, Annalynne McCord ditches the bleach, make-up and pretty much everything else to give a tour-de-force performance as troubled Pauline; a teen who practices DIY dissections whilst fantasising about a perfect clinical world of shiny surfaces and necrophilia.
Hunched, surly and awkward, Pauline exudes typical outsider bully bait yet writer-director Richard Bates Jr. has created a collision of opposites; making her outspoken, manipulative and forceful.
Pauline is psychologically broken whereas her beloved younger sister is physically sick: the focus of love and compassion as her health deteriorates through cystic fibrosis. As Excision peels away layer after layer of urban domestic mundanity then startling fantasy it becomes apparent that each sister has something nasty inside that needs to come out.
The ending arrives as a triumphant and appalling epiphany; inevitable, perhaps guessable, yet as shocking and unforgettable as a slap to the conscience. When that final scream begins you’ll want to join in.
Verdict ~ An astonishing collaboration of talent on both sides of the camera – the discerning and intellectual horror fan’s horror film.
*WARNING* not suitable for little eyes!