Pauline is an outcast who spends almost all her time fantasizing about physical manipulation, surgery and sex. Her overbearing mother recognizes that her daughter is odd and insists she see a church therapist for counseling. Being forced against her will, Pauline only falls deeper and deeper into her visceral, fantasy world in which she concocts a plan to impress her mother and save her sister, who has cystic fibrosis. Richard Bates Jr's Excision is a warped little horror film that is nice and demented but ultimately lacks focus in delivering its themes. Excision is a very stylized film, with the actors giving very theatrical-over the top performances that I would say work about as much as they don't. Richard Bates Jr definitely wanted to make Excision a horror comedy of sorts and there are some funny moments but I wish the film would have focused more on delivering a potentially powerful theme. Pauline is a girl who deep down is lonely, whose obsession with surgery possibly stems from her sister dealing with cystic fibrosis. She and her mother fight constantly and this over-nurturing mentality from her mother is what ends up pushing Pauline deeper into this demented decision at the end of the film. The problem is the film just seems too focused on attempting this odd comedic, off-beat tone that it really misses the mark at delivering something resonant. By far the best parts of the film are when we are in Pauline's POV, seeing her warped fantasies and dreams are well shot, artistically expressive and interesting but sadly, don't happen enough. Excision is a decent effort that is at least pretty original but lacks the focus and thematic intentions to be something truly special.
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