Film Review: Excision

If novelty and shock-value is set as a bench mark for the greatness of a film, Excision is definitely a great one, but unfortunately a film is expected to be much more than that.

The film Excision cannot decide if it is going to be a dark comedy or a horror films and in that indecisiveness lies the strength or weakness of the film. I am never really much of a fan of a typical ‘genre’ movie Hollywood often regurgitates as a factory product and hence, for me Excision is definitely worth watching, but I must admit that the film may not suit everyone’s stomach.

Excision_posterThe Director evidently stole a page from the books of Passolini when he described the vivid horrid erotic dreams of a sociopathic teen-ager girl who is the central character of the film. Her position as a social pariah and her venture to reject the world back at her own expense is something touches many hearts. Had the character been penned more sympathetically, it would have been a better watch for the most, but the script-writer was hell-bent to create characters that are very hard to like or love. Whatever emotional attachments one may feel with the central character is shattered in the final bizarre scene which somehow reminded me of the novel (and the film) “We need to talk about Kevin”.

There are some brilliant sequences in the film: apart from the disturbing sexual dreams and practices shown, the candid confessions made by the girl, the stubborn stupidity of her mother, the emasculated father, the orthodox society around everything created a world of its own. But then again the film is not an attack on conservative America, at least not intentionally, though a few scenes, such as the dim-witted reverend’s psychoanalysis, the mother describing Afro-Americans as generally a straying populace, the school-principal worshipping George Bush and Ronald Regan, may make one wonder if the psychosexual disturbance and angst described in the protagonist is but the reaction to that orthodoxy and zealotry.

The film’s resolution to be a difficult watch and to remain unlikable is something not often seen. Perhaps that’s why it would remain a very distinct work amid the generic products of horror.

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