Excision (2012)

I spent most of my youth pretty far outside the mainstream but I was by no means the strangest kid I knew. I was into theatre and I played a lot of Magic: The Gathering but I was still fairly grounded in reality.

In high school I was in a production of Fiddler on the Roof (presumably aimed at the huge Jewish demographic in my 99% Christian town) and one of my fellow cast members got it in his head that I was somehow making fun of him. I probably was, but at 5′ 4” and 110 pounds I’m pretty sure I wasn’t much of a bully. This guy was seriously into acting so maybe by landing the key role of Rabbi’s Son #1 I was encroaching on his territory. His natural response, I later learned, was to wait for me to come off stage after my big, four bar solo WITH A LEAD PIPE IN HIS HAND. He never went through with it (possibly he opted to kill Ms. Scarlet with the candlestick instead) but the lesson here is clear: do not fuck with the weird kids.

Oh dear.

The story: Pauline might be described as a weird kid. The pimple-faced high school senior has her heart set on a career as a surgeon, though she doesn’t quite see the correlation between doing her homework and getting accepted into med school. We meet her just as her sexual awakening begins to play out in a series of blood-soaked dreams that make The Human Centipede look like a group hug. I don’t know about you, but my wet dreams involved more dry humping and less licking decapitated corpses. Is this just a hormone-induced phase, or do Pauline’s macabre fantasies indicate a more profound disturbance? Probably best to keep her away from the drama club, just to be safe.

Growing up is challenging and whatever you guys are going through right now is totally normal. Except for you, Pauline. You see me after class.

Biggest letdown: AnnaLynne McCord, whose name I feel must be missing some punctuation, plays Pauline. This is her. As much as I’m intrigued by her Seussian smirk and skulking physicality, and as committed as she is to the role, it’s impossible to forget that she is not, in fact, a scrawny, sallow-skinned outcast. I fully admire the lengths the makeup department goes to so both downtrodden loner Pauline and her gruesome sex goddess alter ego can be played by the same woman, but this is a case where double casting would have been a better option. The neutral mask she tries to maintain clearly takes its toll as well. Though she does her best to remain knowingly sardonic, she seems constantly on the verge of reverting back to her soapy 90210 roots.

I’m never going back to West Beverly.

Why you should watch: I loved this movie. It’s far from the best horror movie I’ve ever seen. In fact I’m not even sure I’d call it horror. Trying to classify it is difficult, which is part of its repugnant charm. It’s definitely unsettling at times, but it’s also sad and funny and even touching when it wants to be. It has elements of a coming-of-age comedy, a family drama, and a psychological thriller all mixed together in unexpected proportions. There were at least two points where I had to reset my opinion of the movie because it suddenly deviated so completely from the path I was sure it was taking. That’s rare for genre films, for films in general really. Plus you get to see that twat J.D. McCoy from Friday Night Lights get seriously fucked with. YOU WILL NEVER HAVE AS MUCH HEART AS MATT SARACEN, J.D.

And there’s this.

Memorable Moment: In an attempt to normalize Pauline, her mom (played by Traci Lords, which apparently I found worth pointing out) makes her attend a cotillion class. The only problem is, those classes are for much younger kids, so her efforts backfire. Pauline, feeling bored and mischievous, vents her loathing on some of the unsuspecting kids with wickedly amusing results. My favorite is the nerdy girl sitting alone who confides that boys only talk to her when they need help with their homework. Pauline gently removes the introverted girl’s thick glasses and smiles at her with kind understanding. But instead of giving her an “it gets better” speech, Pauline asks if she’s ever considered plastic surgery.

It gets…weirder.

For the record, I fully support obsolete, offensively elitist customs like cotillions. I think they deserve a comeback. There could even be a version for boys: a brotillion! This is how you make America great again.

Choice quote: “Let’s not forget to sanitize that. It is my favorite thermometer.”

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5 Responses to “Excision (2012)”

  1. robertsoup Says:

    That trailer is pretty amazing.

  2. […] Excision – Kids these days and their blood-soaked sex dreams. At least they’re not huffing paint. […]

  3. Quality articles is the secret to interest the people
    to go to see the web page, that’s what this web page is providing.

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