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Given my interest in psychology I found the film fascinatingly disturbing. Bethany Orr's performance was haunting at times. I would definitely recommend the film for those with similar interests.
The film Excess Flesh was just a random pick up at my local video rental store one night. I had never heard of this movie before and after reading the back of the case, I decided oh well, why the hell not? It sounded interesting enough.
“Jill is obsessed with her new roommate Jennifer, a promiscuous and sexy hotshot in the LA Fashion scene. New to the city and recently single, Jill is unable to keep up as she binges and purges to stay thin; eventually hating herself and everyone around her. Her jealousy and rage spiral out of control — Jennifer has everything, and Jill wants to be just like her. If Jill can’t BE Jennifer, she must destroy her”
I must warn you before we get into this, there is really no way I can give a “brief analysis” (as I use the term loosely here) of this movie without spoiling it for the most part and giving away the key element. It isn’t something I normally do. However, after watching this movie I went and looked around to see what others had to say about it. I was pretty shocked to see that the majority of other viewers just simply didn’t understand what they were watching. I understand that every one interprets what they watch differently and this is not my way of saying that my interpretation is the “right” one…. I am just simply sharing my take and I hope it can help others to get a better understanding of the movie before or after they watch it.
So please… if you do not want your viewing experience ruined, then you probably shouldn’t read any further.
Excess Flesh stars Bethany Orr as “Jill” and Mary Loveless as “Jennifer”. The “two friends” come off as a strange pair right from the get go. Jennifer is the skinniest of the two and a model. Jill on the other hand is a little bigger than Jennifer… while she wouldn’t necessarily be considered “fat” in most other peoples eyes, SHE sees herself as “fat” and also struggles with bulimia.
Now for those that have ever struggled with any eating disorders you may relate better and also understand this film more so than others or if you have ever known someone who has struggled with eating disorders then you know how difficult it can be. Have I struggled with eating disorders? No, I have not… but I do have an interest in psychology and I found the film quite fascinating… maybe that makes me morbid?
Now to cut right to the chase without going through every step of the film and analyzing every word and movement these “girls” say or make… I believe that what we are seeing and dealing with here is ONE girl, not 2. I believe that is the main element that I saw a lot of other viewers missing. I won’t get into the movie step by step, I don’t want to ruin the WHOLE experience for potential viewers out there, maybe later down the road I will do a more in depth analysis. But for now the movie is still brand new as it was just released on DVD March 8, 2016.
There are clues that we are dealing with just ONE girl in the film, but you have to pay attention because not all of them are so obvious. I think a lot of people mistakenly took the clues for “WTF” moments and got lost. The movie isn’t really just a straight forward horror movie. There is a lot of psychological elements that go on through out this movie that is left to interpretation for an understanding. For example, some of the things you will see may or may not be happening in actuality, and if they did happen, in reality it may have happened just a bit differently. Remember… you are in the mind of a mad woman!
I also felt that some people were just put off by the movies over use of grotesque eating binges, which made it easy to get distracted and sickened by these moments, but it was a lost opportunity to try and connect with the character’s struggles and the pain suffered from it.
Jill’s spiral into madness through out this movie can be a bit to much for some to take, some folks found it to be quite graphic with unnecessary visuals, imagery and even right down to the strange music and sounds that would play during her moments of rage, self loathing and the torturing scenes of Jennifer at the hands of Jill. It can send the squeamish over the edge and cause you to lose your focus or even interest in the movie.
I found all of these things as a means to getting inside the characters head and really feeling this characters demise into madness. The film truly is a virtual visualization of the reality of what goes on inside the head of someone that is struggling with a severe mental / psychotic breakdown. I found all the elements came together nicely to portray this, it was cleverly done… despite the many negative reviews I found by other viewers.
If you struggle with mental health issues the film may or may not provide what is called “Triggers”. If you do struggle with mental health then the term “Triggers” you are already familiar with. Those who self harm may want to exercise caution if you view the movie. I am just mentioning this as a courtesy, not trying to overly hype up the movie so people will go watch it.
I would recommend giving this film a watch, but I want to stress to you to pay attention to whats going on no matter how difficult it might be. Don’t get distracted or put off because you just might miss something that could clue you in, especially the ending…… I feel the ending makes it obvious. In my opinion it was a pretty good psychological horror experience, I’d give it 3 stars for effort!