Excision (2012)

This is an interesting movie. Interesting in a good way, though. I really like that the scares in this one build over time — it’s no action-packed slasher film, but rather a glimpse into the dark side of suburban family life and mental illness.

I don’t think the pacing will suit everyone. It’s a bit slow to get going (although you wouldn’t expect that from the awesome opening sequence), opting for character development over shock value, but this works well here; by the time you realize the depths of Pauline’s troubles you’re already feeling sympathetic towards her.

The background music is excellently done, and the various dream/fantasy scenes are incredible. AnnaLynne McCord is masterful as Pauline — and it’s amazing to see the difference a change of makeup and hairstyle can do. The first time I saw this, it took me several minutes to realize that Pauline was AnnaLynne McCord — she was barely recognizable.

The rest of the cast is solid as well. I love Ariel Winter, whose portrayal of Grace almost made me cry (not that that’s a difficult feat for a film), and I was surprised at how much sympathy I felt for the mom (played by Traci Lords), even as she ignores the signs that her daughter needs help.

This is worth watching if the sight of blood doesn’t get to you. While it’s true that this isn’t an action-packed slasher, it is a blood-and-gore-packed film that’s not for the faint of heart.

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