Tuesday, November 13, 2012
EXCISION: NEW TURN ON THE TROUBLED TEEN
A generation of film makers has been influenced by David Lynch, a director with and artistic touch whose movies were always interesting and always quirky. Unfortunately that same generation missed out on the artistic side and has clung to the quirkiness of his films offering movies that while weird aren't usually entertaining. Until the final moments of EXCISION, that's the case here.
Anna Lynne McCord stars as Pauline, a disillusioned teen who dreams of being a surgeon one day but who has no plans of following what it takes to get there. She refuses to study, does everything in her power to make herself the outsider in her school and for the most part is just plain disagreeable. Pauline is what teens appear to be these days, a young person who dreams of glory and expects it to just happen.
Pauline's mother is completely different. Phyllis (Traci Lords) is a prim and proper home maker. Not quite June Cleaver, but she plans out her dinners, expects her children to eat at the table and not leave until excused and wants what is best for both of her daughters. Pauline's sister suffers from a disease that will eventually require her to have a lung replaced. Due to this ailment she usually gets preferential treatment. Her father is just a fixture in the house, rarely taking sides in any argument except to back his wife when she pushes the issue.
Pauline is a completely unlikable character in this film. Make up has provided her with the typical teenage zits problem, she doesn't comb her hair and she dresses in the drabbest way possible. She's an outsider who wants nothing to do with the other kids at school and the feeling is mutual. Her days are spent trying to figure out ways not to develop into something else and her dreams are filled with people dressed in white who almost always find a way to cover themselves in blood.
Pauline does make an attempt at normality of sorts. She decides it's time she lost her virginity and approaches a young boy to be the one to deflower her. He shrugs her off in front of her friends but eventually gives her a call. They retreat to a motel room where they have at it. Things go smoothly until Pauline asks him to perform oral sex on her. It's only then that he realizes she's on her period, something she planned to avoid pregnancy but never bothered to tell him. This results in his girlfriend getting even with Pauline when she learns and painting words like slut on her house. Yes, it's that kind of movie folks.
The movie moves along at a snails pace and is filled with little more than one attempt after another for Pauline to try and anger her mother. Most films that feature teen angst are trying to make a point, here it's just a plot device to move the film forward. Or is it?
The film has an upsetting and mind blowing ending that makes the entire film seem completely different in retrospect. The problem is that it takes almost the entire length of the film to get there, giving nothing but weird and boring moments until then. While watching I had this feeling of saying that this film was the biggest waste of time I'd seen in ages. But after the end I found myself thinking about it differently. Yes, it's still not for everyone and only those with a taste for the unusual will like it. But it's not the terrible film it seemed while watching it.
My guess is that this film will develop some sort of cult following if those who find themselves into this sort of thing can discover it. Once they do perhaps it will be listed as a film that critics will recommend as something startling, something inventive and something original. It is all those things but its also slow moving and not in the best way possible. If you decide to watch this one then watch it all the way through to the end. Only then will it make it a film worth watching.
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