¡Qué horror! 2013
Candidate # 1
Writer/director Richard Bates, Jr. expands on his 2008 short film, Excision, transforming the original 18-minute short into an 81-minute study of disturbed youth and the dreams of the perfect family just gone horribly wrong, as 90210’s AnnaLynne McCord takes the role of Pauline, a high school student with aspirations of becoming a surgeon.
Now, while normally, a teen-ager with ambition who knows exactly what they want out of life is a good thing, it’s so not a good thing where Pauline is concerned.
With a stellar supporting cast--Roger Bart, Traci Lords, Marlee Matlin, Malcolm McDowell, Ray Wise, and John Waters as Reverend William (!)--Excision, just like Pauline, knows exactly what it wants, and knows how to get there; the basic beats of the short are taken and transformed into pivotal scenes in the feature, while time is taken to further explore the narrative’s key filial relationships.
Infused with the black humour of Heathers, and compounded by gore and disturbing sexual imagery, Excision is the kind of film that lays out its cards and isn’t shy to tell you where it is it’s going to end up.
Still, filled with that sick sense of foreboding, you’re hoping it doesn’t go where you may imagine it will, because that way will only end in tears.
But of course, it does, and even though you may have anticipated it, the climax still packs a gut-wrenching wallop that’s both horrifying and tragic.