Pauline is a socially-awkward, aspiring surgeon from suburban USA. Her mother (Traci Lords) is overbearing, her father (Roger Bart) weak and her sister (Ariel Winter) is slowly dying from cystic fibrosis. Very much a loner, Pauline decides to act upon her increasingly strange dreams and lose her virginity – and that’s possibly the most normal thing that happens in this film.
Blood and sex aren’t an uncommon combination in horror and Excision has certainly enough of both. There are lashings of blood and strong sexual undercurrent running throughout the plot but very little, if any explanation, as to how the two have become so intertwined in Pauline’s mind. In fact, while AnnaLynne McCord plays her part fantastically well and is at all times engaging, the character of Pauline is perhaps the weakest aspect of the film. There is very little exploration of her as a person and in truth, it is difficult not to see her character as having been written to provide a justification we all felt for the strange, quiet kid in class. However, there are enough reminders that beneath the surly attitude there is a young, lonely woman whose every attempt to establish a connection is rebuffed to prevent Pauline from becoming two dimensional.
Excision is intriguing and has enough dry, well-observed humour to retain interest although it flags a little towards the halfway mark as Pauline’s creepiness becomes a little grating and overdone. When events do finally take a turn for the very sinister, the film holds no punches and the final shots will linger long after the credits roll.
While at times exaggerated, Excision is an amusing slice of suburban teenage angst taken to a disturbing conclusion.