The First Cut Is The Deepest-Excision and Teeth

For those who like their horror films with a heavy dose of black humour and are unafraid of body horror and gore, you should really give Excision and Teeth a try. Both these films are low-budget American films and both have unusual teenage girls as their protagonist/antagonist. They also shouldn’t be watched if you are the least bit squeamish or prefer more straight forward horror films.

Excision is the 2012 debut film of Richard Bates Jnr. The film starts as a dark comedy focusing on Pauline (AnnaLynne McCord) a delusional and antisocial  high school student who wants to be a surgeon. She has sexual fantasies about blood and dead people. Her father is passive and henpecked. Her mother finds her disturbing and focuses on Pauline’s younger sister Grace. Grace is ill and is the only person Pauline seems to care about. As the film progresses it goes more and more into the horror territory.

Warning if you do not like the sight of blood this film is not for you.  However if you can stomach it Excision is a successful blend of horror and comedy. It has a great cast and even a small cameo of John Walters. What makes Excision elevated from just being an amusingly trashy horror is the central performance by AnnaLynne McCord. For those who only knows her as rich bitch Naomi from the teen series 90210, Excision is quite a departure. McCord convincingly transforms into an acne ridden, deeply disturbed outcome.  She is terrific whether its her sarcastic comments to her mother or put downs of her fellow classmates, and also handles the more sensitive scenes with her sister with aplomb. She also convinces at being completely crazy with her horrific fantasies. Some scenes may be a bit much for sensitive viewers.

Teeth is a 2007 film that follows Dawn (Jessica Weixler), a young Christian who preaches abstinence to her fellow teens. After a boy tries to rape her she struggles to get away and bites off his penis with her vagina, killing him (I cannot believe I have just written that sentence).  Dawn realises she has vagina dentata and tries to cope with what she has done as well as coping with her ill mother and perverted step-brother.

With a synopsis like that Teeth walks a fine line between black comedy, horror and silliness. However ridiculous the premise is, the subject is treated seriously by the actors (a few one liners aside). You can’t help but cross your legs in sympathy to the guys on screen-even if some of them do deserve their grisly fate. Jessica Wexiler is brilliant as Dawn. A more sympathetic protagonist than Naomi. We see her go from naive innocent Christian girl to a jaded, determined woman hell-bent of revenge.

So if you like your horror films a bit on the trashy side and with strong female protagonists then I recommend you give these films ago. Just be prepared to reach for the sick bag in between the laughs.

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