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INCISION (2020)

Directed by Ali Zamani
Written by Chris Kato
Starring Korrina Rico, Lee Kholafai, Caylee Cowan, Kev Adams, Jonathan ‘Lil J’ McDaniel, Olga Safari, Tristan Tales, James Allen Brewer, Marik Knight, Olivia Day, Elaine Partnow, John Wallbank, Madison Bontempo, Kyler Steven Fisher, Kristen Solis, Josefin Nilsson, Hailee Keanna Lautenbach, Courtney Paige, Amanda Paris, Victoria Sophia, Gary Daniel Mosher, Malia Maquera, and Costas Mandylor as the pervy Dr. Bennett

After backing out of her own plastic surgery procedure, beauty influencer Alexa (Korrina Rocco) decides to accompany her jealous pro-footballer boyfriend Matt (Lee Kholafai) to hang with his entertainer friend Calvin (Jonathan ‘Lil J’ McDaniel) and his recently impregnated girlfriend Trinity (Olga Safari) at their beach house. It seems Calvin’s laptop was stolen and in it was some dope tracks Calvin just laid out. So after using an app to track down his computer, Calvin sends his right hand man Kenny (Tristan Tales) to pick it up. When Kenny doesn’t return, the whole party, including Alexa’s troubled sister Becca (Caylee Cowan) head out to the same location to track down the computer and Kenny. Turns out this location is the lair of a twisted plastic surgeon named Dr. Gene Cunningham (James Allen Brewer) and his demented family who trap, play with, operate on, and eat anyone who dares cross their doorstep and Alexa and her friends are next on the menu.

While this film is ultra-derivative of THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, I often have fun with TCM knockoffs where a killer family take on an unsuspecting group of kids. It’s always fun to see eccentric ghouls doing creepy things, yet still functioning as a family unit. I even dabbled in this territory in my most recent comic book series GRAVETRANCERS (available now in only the finest of comic book stores). It all boils down to the writing, directing, and creativity behind these clones as to whether they are worth watching or not.

Now, I’m not going to go so far as to say INCISION is a good movie. It’s not. But if you can get through the first twenty-five minutes of JERSEY SHORE style antics of these “baller” brats who angst heavily about their football careers, whether or not to have plastic surgery, and the quality of their latest beats while sipping scotch and lounging in their million-dollar homes. These pretty people and their lifestyle might be interesting to some, but the slow way all of the characters are given screentime to emote makes them pretty loathsome to watch. Thankfully, things get a bit more gruesome and fast paced once they get to the good doctor’s house and while I almost skipped out of this movie in the meandering first 25 minutes, I guess seeing these perfectly sculpted faces getting pulverized was enticing enough to get me to stick around.

The rest of the film isn’t great, but it does keep the momentum moving with the multiple members of the crazy family tormenting each of the group in their own sick ways. The effects are actually decent, though there is a scene where an actor has his feet chopped off that is pretty bad CG. And while there are some ok moments of demented madness as when the tall son Phillip (John Wallbank) dances around with a drugged up Alexa to classical music in a swirling room, most of the other stuff has been done before in TCM, WRONG TURN, and all of those other killer family horror films. The addition of Costas Manydlor as a pervy doctor on the television is an odd choice as something to keep flashing to, but it adds to the madness.

I’ll give it to this film. All of the characters are having fun, but the acting is pretty awful, with the baddies simply being bad for bad’s sake and the pretty people deserving what they get for being so douchey and shallow. One exception is Caylee Cowan who plays the pill popping basket case sister. She stands out as one of the actors I’d like to see again as her performance is more natural. Unfortunately, the star Alexa (Korrina Rico) and her dilemma of whether to go under the knife isn’t as compelling, mainly because the actress looks like she’s already had some nips and tucks done herself already in to chestal region. I think the filmmakers should have cast someone less Hollywood for this lead role. Her plight to get work done might have been more convincing.

If you can stomach the opening moments, INCISION manages to provide some creepy scenes and a non-stop forward motion once it gets rolling. It’s nothing new, but it does a Hollywood version of the TCM blueprint capably.

Check out the trailer here!!