Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Review - Excision (2012 - Dir. Richard Bates Jr.)

And so we reach the end of the festival. So far there have been some good films, some excrement, but nothing great. Let's see if Excision can deliver the goods.

It delivers like a postie that brings you quality Blu-rays every day with a jaunty click of the heels on departure. AnnaLynne McCord (90210) stars as teenager, Pauline. As a teenager she is going through lots of difficulties as hormones play havoc. Her sister has Cystic Fibrosis and her mum (Traci Lords - I'm not aware of her work) is a right domineering old bat. Wait a minute, I though this was supposed to be horror, not some teenage drama?

The horror comes in Pauline's thoughts and dreams. Symmetry plays a huge part. As does blood. These sequences contain some of the most memorable images from a horror film that I've seen in a fair while. They are a perfect contrast to the middle class suburban 'Desperate Housewives' feel of the rest of the film (her dad, played by Roger Bart, is actually in that series). Clinical whites and blues, shiny surgical equipment and of course the red, red blood. Pauline wants to become a surgeon and her thoughts reflect this perfectly, although I may be a tad worried if I went under the knife of a surgeon who had thoughts like this. 

This is also one of the funniest films at the festival. Pauline has some cracking lines that I don't want to spoil, but one that she says to the girlfriend of a boy that she's just slept with is a pearler. Seeing John Waters as a priest also raises a smile. I'm not overly fond of cameos but they don't intrude too much in this film (unlike my most hated moment in Zombieland).

The acting is stunning throughout. I haven't seen AnnaLynne McCord in 90210 but I can guess how she normally looks. In this she looks like a real teenager with a multitude of skin complaints. It's a performance that's up there with Pollyanna McIntosh in The Woman.

I seem to have talked about endings a lot in the reviews from this year's festival. They are so important to films, less so for books. Excision has a great ending. It's one of those moments when you realise what's about to happen is completely different from what you expected. And you get a little bit giddy. And horrified. Great stuff.

This is my film of the festival. Strangely, it didn't even get in the top three of the audience vote. When it inevitably arrives on Blu-ray this original film comes highly recommended.

So that's the end of the festival. If you'd like some post-match banter click here: Banter.

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