By Preston Corbell
Kevin Smith delivers a shocking, grotesque and downright masterful look into a mad man’s dream and an innocent man’s nightmare.
Tusk starts out following Wallace (Justin Long) and Teddy (Hayley Joel Osment) on their podcast, which is based in Los Angeles. They discover a shocking and disturbing video of someone losing a limb and Wallace decides to hop on a plane to Canada to meet with the person in the video. The meeting falls through and Wallace is left in Canada with no story. Eager to find a story before he heads back to L.A. Wallace stumbles across an ad that promises a story that is rich of adventure and detail.
He takes a long road trip to meet the stranger (Howard) at an isolated house. Once he arrives, they exchange casualties and begin with the interview. As Howard talks, Wallace starts to feel odd from the drink he was offered by Howard. As the storyline progress, Howard talks in detail about how he had a special relationship with a walrus, a relationship he seeks to regain. The torture begins and the manhunt ensues to find Wallace.
Justin Long is genius in Tusk; the range of emotions he brings in his performance is admirable. The latter half of the film is high intensity from both a man and animal perspective. Long delivers from multiple areas helping the film progress into an astoundingly masterful ending. The lead officer is played by Johnny Depp, who in this role, is almost recognizable.
Tusk makes you sit in an uncomfortable position, feeling squeamish and uneasy. A masterful piece by Kevin Smith (Clerks, Chasing Amy, Mallrats, to name a few). An interesting note is that Mr. Smith edited the film, something not often seen in big budget films. By editing the film a director can fully express their vision without worrying how the end product will be cut. Editing is such a huge stamp on how the film is portrayed.
The one knock I have for this film is the poison in the drink idea, which in my opinion is played out; it lands a little flat and lacks the creativity I had come to expect from this film. Outside of that, the storyline is very inviting and fresh. With Kevin Smith as both director and editor, the film runs fluid and without a hitch. The pacing progressively leads up to climax that is truly unforgettable. Without a doubt Tusk is one of the most disturbing and mind bending horror films in recent years. The storyline will haunt you and the amazing imagery will leave you sleeping with one eye open. Film rating: 5/5
Preston Corbell is an Austin, Texas based filmmaker/actor and clothing designer. Check out Preston’s latest film here.