Excision (2012)


AnnaLynne McCord gives a remarkable performance as a disturbed teenager whose vivid sex dreams and obsession with surgery spiral out of control in this sublime and disturbing coming-of-age horror comedy. First-time feature film writer/director Richard Bates, Jr. serves up a fast-paced script with surprisingly polished style. The film’s many dream sequences are exquisitely designed crashes of morbid imagery and sexual exaltation. The opening scene alone is a marvelous exploration of sex and death wrapped in performance art — what horror movies are all about. Traci Lords does a commendable job as McCord’s rigid mother, giving a few moments of unexpected depth to a part that is, for the most part, written as caricature. A terrific group of actors pop up in small roles throughout the film, including Oscar-winner Marlee Matlin, Malcolm McDowell, Ray Wise, and John Waters. I’d have preferred a little more theatricality during the climax, but the film ends on a perfect note of sordid pathos. One of the better horror movies of late, and a terrific black comedy as well.
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