Fantasia 2012: ‘Excision’ extremely unsettling, often amusing
Directed by Richard Bates Jr.
Screenplay by Richard Bates Jr.
Writer-director Richard Bates. Jr. draws on years of movie-watching for his audacious feature debut Excision. The most obvious influences for Excision is possibly Brian DePalma’s Carrie, Todd Solondz’s Welcome To The Dollhouse and Michael Lehmann’s Heathers. Toss in equal parts Gregg Araki, Dario Argento, Alejandro Jodorowsky, and John Hughes and an ending reminiscent of Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers - and Excision might just be the best “adolescent misfit” movie in a very long time.
Richard Bates Jr.’s dark domestic offbeat black comedy (a passion project converted from his 2008 short with the same name), is greased up with enough cultural references, sarcasm, graphic sex and bloody violence to turn John Waters into a preacher man. Yet despite the controversy stirred up earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival, it is important to note that Excision avoids falling victim to the usual trappings of the average independent horror film. Every violent and grotesque twist serves a purpose outside of shock value, helping to move the story forward and flesh out the complexity of the main character.