Austin Chronicle Review
"Excess Flesh is nauseating, perceptive, and an altogether damning indictment of a hyper-consumerist society run amuck. It's a wildly imaginative cultural critique that recalls mid-eighties NYC filmmaker Nick Zedd’s infamous Cinema of Transgression and its accompanying manifesto...Comparisons to Polanski’s more paranoid moments (Repulsion) are not unwarranted, and the whole hallucinogenic affair vibes like a Richard Kern shoot gone terribly wrong." READ FULL REVIEW HERE.
Shock Till You Drop Review
"Displeased and displeasing, repulsive and repugnant, Excess Flesh is consuming vitriol and spewing it back in our faces. Director Patrick Kennelly’s feature debut is stylish on a low budget, boasting a synth score from Jonathan Snipes (Room 237, Starry Eyes) and slick, slo-mo visual palette, which he then stuffs with graphic eating, and sadistic and self-destructive behavior. This is a film as informed by the veneer of Los Angeles as it is sickened by it; a layer cake of aggression, shame and madness. It’s pretty exhilarating." READ FULL REVIEW HERE.
All Things Horror Review
"As a disillusioned, desensitized horror film critic, it takes a lot in a film to get a reaction from me. I’ve grown accustomed to watching a perfectly decent film, acknowledge what works in it and what does not, but to have no passionate or physical reaction. At last week’s Boston Underground Film Festival I had the pleasure of seeing Excess Flesh, and it reminded me that film can be exciting and ruthless. I had a knee-jerk reaction to it, and I loved it." READ FULL REVIEW HERE.
Modern Horrors Review
"It’s a joy to watch a movie like Excess Flesh, being thrust into its gorgeous, grotesque void, and struggling to get our bearings and find a way out...There’s a lot to discuss about what society values as traditional and appropriate goals for women to achieve as well as how self-hatred is the most damaging kind. When everything eventually shifts into place then it all makes sense. That gut feeling you had bubbles up from the pit of your stomach and takes up residence in the back of your throat. Even after the movie ends, you can still taste it. Excess Flesh is a remarkable achievement that needs to be seen more than once to appreciate it fully. And it deserves to be seen by a lot of people." READ FULL REVIEW HERE.
Bind Torture Kast Podcast Review
BTK gives Excess Flesh a Triple OWN IT! - "I can say this film reminds me of this or that - its a little bit Repulsion, its a little bit High Tension - but the fact is this is its own film in every way imaginable. And I almost never get to say that. It's impossible to guess what's going to happen scene to scene, and it never relies on any established genre tropes as far as trying to make us uncomfortable. I think it manages to deal with real life horror - destructive relationships and shitty abusive people, and, of course, body dysmorphia. I think its a deadly serious film, but its oddly funny in a lot of spots. Its sad but fun in a lot of spots. I think its's a smarter film than this world fucking deserves and it has far more heart than most things I get around to watching. The best art is the stuff that leaves you thinking, and this does...run and steal and stab someone to get your hands on a copy of this movie, because its incredible.”
LISTEN TO THE FULL REVIEW HERE.
Terror Weekend Review
"4/5 - A surprising and unclassifiable film. When we see Excess Flesh, we feel that we are in front of a disjointed script that does not lead anywhere. But the goods are saved for last, and everything is perfectly fitted like a puzzle. A magnificent debut for Patrick Kennelly in the world of film...this is not to be missed." READ FULL REVIEW HERE.
AMFM Magazine Review & Interview
"One of the most divisive films I’ve seen at SXSW this year is the midnighter Excess Flesh....This is Single White Female to a demonic level, with two engrossing performances and directorial style that is not afraid to take chances...it’s the rare film that can please a late night crowd and yet still is about something." READ FULL REVIEW/INTERVIEW HERE.
One of Us Review
"The movie provides a masterful and unflinching view of the worst possible scenario and environment for a person as mentally crippled as Jill. Every scene is fascinating, yet hard to watch. Kennelly truly captures a desperate woman, in the grips of bulimia and blooming schizophrenia, as she spirals out of control. Even the sounds of eating are allowed to shine through in the sound design, further punctuating the disgusting and visceral nature of bulimia. I had to push my pizza away after a particularly yucky and heartbreaking scene with some mac & cheese…It falls in line with movies like The Piano Teacher, Bug, and In My Skin (Dans Ma Peau) as a deep and terrifying analysis of mental disorders. You will look away, or at least want to (more than once), but if you hang on, you’ll be rewarded with an amazing and visceral cinematic experience!” READ FULL REVIEW HERE.
Legless Corpse Review
"Disgustingly beautiful...The film is very hard to watch, yet you will not want to turn away. The ending left me scratching my head, yet made me trace the films steps and allowed me to form my own interpretation of everything I just saw. Not many films these days have you thinking about them while the credits are rolling. I think Excess Flesh will be stuck in my mind for a long while to come. Chalk Excess Flesh up on my best of 2016 list so far. READ FULL REVIEW HERE.
FrightDay Podcast Review
"Some of the best acting I've ever seen in a horror movie...”
LISTEN TO THE FULL REVIEW (beginning @ the 41 min. marker) HERE.
HorrorFreak News Review
"4/5 - Both women’s performances are award-worthy. They’re that nuanced. They’re that bold. And they’re that good. Orr and Loveless are the top reasons to watch Excess Flesh... the film is a harsh reminder of the stresses which plague women (and men too) about body image, fat, exercise, diet and notions of beauty. It faces the ridiculousness of these peer pressures, head on. And while this is a fantasy film which goes to the outer limits of a mental breakdown – could it really be that difficult to take the leap and see a similar report on your 6 o’clock news...”
READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE.
Gruesome Hertzogg Podcast Review
""So disturbing, so disgusting, so crazy f-ing brilliant."”
LISTEN TO THE FULL REVIEW HERE.
"We end the day in discomfort and distress as we face the vision of Excess Flesh. Depicting the living hell experienced by an anorexic schizophrenic girl, this film is extremely anxiety provoking and almost never leaves the apartment of the main character, Jill, brilliantly portrayed by actress Bethany Orr.
One of the best surprises of the festival this year.” READ FULL REVIEW HERE.
Arts and Opinion (Montreal) Review
"Early on, Kennelly pushes past the line of ordinarily stereotypical female jealousy and competition and travels on to explore, in a most grotesque manner, the darkest fringes of the female psyche. Disturbing and challenging to watch, Excess Flesh succeeds in visually representing the fractured reality of madness." READ FULL REVIEW HERE.
WBUR Boston The ARTery BUFF Preview / Review
"Exaggerated eating rituals are vibrantly filmed in slow motion and closeups in the same way physical violence may be showcased in a torture porn. But food isn’t the monster of this story; evil is found in the hefty servings of personal traumas, emotional abuse, social pressures and unattainable cultural standards that pig pile on a person until they are void of a sense of self. In this story, that precarious recipe also leads to psychosis and other surprises. Handled both thoughtfully and perhaps over gratuitously (especially in regards to one scene of domestic abuse) by first-time feature director Patrick Kennelly, Excess Flesh ... epitomizes the type of challenging and unique narratives BUFF delivers."
READ FULL ARTICLE HERE.
Almas Oscuras Review
"... a beautiful, biting, choking, distressing and frightening story ... a gifted nightmare with a grand finale that is impossible to get out of your head." READ FULL REVIEW HERE.
Aint It Cool News Review
"Excess Flesh is a garbage slicked slide into insanity. It will churn stomachs. It will slime its way past limits of good taste. It is also extremely well made and despite the fact that it made my stomach gurgle a few times, it is effectively adept at causing feelings of utter disgust. You’ve been warned." READ FULL REVIEW HERE.
The Ink & Code Review
"When the setup involves a chained woman in her underwear, it’s certainly reasonable for viewers to assume they’re in for something trashy. Instead we’re treated to a slyly sophisticated film that owes much more to the claustrophobic madness of Roman Polanski’s Repulsion than any films in the women-in-chains exploitation genre...Excess Flesh is a film that begs to be watched more than once, another layer to the spider-web like trap it ensnares everyone in. The future viewings won’t necessarily be to better understand the film, but to admire the intricacies of its construction." READ FULL REVIEW HERE.
The Thirteenth Floor Review
"Director Patrick Kennelly takes us on a ride that seems like a fever dream at times, filled with enough metaphor, allegory and subtext to fill the pages of any thorough deconstruction piece of all the film's elements, let alone this one review. We are shown both the glamorous side of the entertainment and modeling industry, as well the ugly underbellies of each - with the film beginning on one end, and with each purging, methodically creeping its way towards the twisted and disturbing finale; and oh what a finale it is." READ FULL REVIEW HERE.
"Patrick Kennelly's Excess Flesh is initially like one of those 90s-style "Roommate From Hell" thrillers ala Single White Female, but no Hollywood director would go to the extremes this one does; ditching any pretense of glitz or style, this is a straight-up grimy and unpleasant experience...But it's not shock for shock's sake, since this movie actually has a point to make about body shaming, torturing oneself to reach that ideal that society and fashion magazines say is the norm; it's particularly worse in this film's snapshot of L.A. and it's "beautiful" people. In a way, this is a revenge fantasy for everyone who's always felt shamed like Jill." READ FULL REVIEW HERE.
Destroy the Brain! Review
"This is a strange film, something like a high-art Troma film that shoots for gross and violent and darkly humorous at the same time while avoiding the camp and cheese factor inherent with Troma...The best part of the movie is Orr’s all-out, unhinged performance. This character is crazy, but Orr makes her memorably INSANE." READ FULL REVIEW HERE.
Tiny Mix Tapes Review
"4/5 - While in other hands this — psychotic behavior and grossness for the sake of shock value — could be a detriment, in Excess Flesh it’s a great through line for a life of binging and purging, going to extremes to be desired. Kennelly has created an almost new spin on Cronenbergian riffs, a “body shaming horror” subgenre that does an excellent job of portraying a fragile mindset in a harsh reality." READ FULL REVIEW HERE.
Culture Crypt Review
"Director and co-writer Patrick Kennelly might identify Excess Flesh as a film involving feelings of isolation, anxiety, and the struggle against hopelessness to achieve a satisfying individuality. Despite invoking core themes so deeply steeped in loneliness and singularity, Excess Flesh is just as much of a movie about duality, delusion, and a confrontation between the identity you think you want and the identity you actually have." READ FULL REVIEW HERE.
The Moveable Fest Review / Interview
"Patrick Kennelly’s debut feature is less like any film you’ve ever seen than a living organism, the leads feeding off each other when they’re not compulsively stuffing their faces with food, either because Jennifer can without gaining weight or the binge eating that brings comfort for Jill, and the audience feeds off of their push-pull relationship that supplies the drama for the hothouse horror film that largely sequesters them inside their apartment to hash things out. As a multidisciplinary artist, there’s no mistaking the theatricality Kennelly brought to the production, turning what appears to have been a grueling, small-scale production into an intense experiential horror satire." READ FULL ARTICLE HERE.
True View Reviews Review
"Bethany Orr and Mary Loveless deliver extraordinary performances. The film leaves its audiences with a similar feeling that Requiem for a Dream does. This is most definitely a disturbing case of cinematic tough love." READ FULL REVIEW HERE.
Dig Boston BUFF Preview / Review
"Flesh becomes an abstracted split-personalities movie—shades of Bergman’s Persona and Altman’s 3 Women cast over it. The women’s carefully curated facade of fashionability (couture clothes and a swank apartment) comes crumbling down as their extended lock-in leaves them a filthy mess. As in Bag Boy, this isn’t quite psychological horror, or body horror, or slasher horror. The most terrifying demons at this year’s festival are born of BUFF’s antithesis: High culture." READ FULL ARTICLE HERE.
"Thanks to strong acting, intense visuals, and a mixed tone of tension and empathy, Excess Flesh manages to say something very loudly and very clearly, but never comes across as preachy. This film takes some of the ideas we’ve seen on screen before and approaches them from a different angle, mixing in a very feminist message along with a disturbing brand of psychological horror. I could say that this is like Single White Female meets High Tension, but that only touches on what Excess Flesh is all about." READ FULL REVIEW HERE.
Next Projection Review
"Part Aronofsky and all kinds of messed up, Excess Flesh is a grotesque but involving body horror picture... It’s a descent into madness like no other, and it’s certainly grotesque enough to turn off a lot of viewers. I’m not really sure I could say I enjoyed it, but it’s very easy to admire the talent behind the camera as well as the two performances by Bethany Orr and Mary Loveless." READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE.
Blood Stab Review
"7/10 - Excess Flesh is an austere work with messages against the individualistic perfection of every human being regarding his own body and that of others, and a psychological drama full of cynicism and black humor with a good scrotum-tightening soundtrack and two actresses who offer impressive performances. A must for all fans of the genre." READ FULL REVIEW HERE.
Famous Monsters of Filmland Review
"Excess Flesh is brutal, sadistic, and disgusting. It’s filled with scenes of people gorging on food, vomit, blood, and just general nihilism. It’s also infinitely watchable. I wanted to hate it, I really did; but I couldn’t.... It nauseates you and makes you super uncomfortable at every turn. That is a goal that most fright flicks work hard to achieve, and this one does it with ease." READ FULL REVIEW HERE.
The Creative Issue Review
"A fresh horror debut from Californian filmmaker Patrick Kennelly... Excess Flesh is a film that will speak to people with body image issues, but sometimes in ways that can be damaging. It is not for the faint-hearted, and the only release from its insanity is in retrospect. It is definitely a film that will be delicious to analyse in painstaking detail for all of it’s commentary on body image, party culture and feminism." READ FULL REVIEW HERE.
Cryptic Rock Review
"4.5 out of 5 stars - brings the horror to another level...one of those films that people rent out of curiosity and are amazed to have found a hidden Horror gem that not only surpasses our expectations, but also creates consciousness in our society." READ FULL REVIEW HERE.