Movie Review- Tusk


Stars: Michael Parks, Justin Long, Genesis Rodriguez, Haley Joel Osment and Guy LaPointe

Rated R for some disturbing violence/gore, language and sexual content, Running time 102 minutes, Horror/Comedy

Compare to: The Human Centipede (2009), Red State (2011)

We don’t normally associate Kevin Smith with Horror films but it seems after his 2011 effort, Red State, and a podcast he’d done and taken the idea as far as he could, it looks like he’s going to dig a little deeper.

Though the film has made its way into theaters around the nation, it’s tough to imagine Tusk finding its way into the hearts of mainstream audiences. And if I’m to go by the excruciatingly loud Mexican family sitting behind me in my screening, the kids won’t care about it either.

¬†Acerbically funny podcasting legend Wallace Bryton’s show has a lot going for it. By making fun of humiliated internet celebrities, Wallace’s popularity has grown. But when he makes the trip up to Canada to interview a recent viral jester, problems arise and Wallace needs a new guest. After answering a personal ad, he makes the trip to a strange man who has different reasons for wanting Wallace to visit and now it looks like he may never leave.

Justin got a boo-boo.

Justin got a boo-boo.

It’s tough to give a description of a film like this without giving anything away. Half of the film is us getting to know the characters and settling into the world. And it’s not a problem either, as the dialogue writer/director Smith has given us is life-like and funny while less crude than he normally opts for in his comedies. This, along, with the small but talented cast make for an intriguing set-up that actually has you wonder what’s going to happen and makes you wonder how bad it’s gonna get.

It’s difficult to say who’s done a better job as well. Justin Long as the tortured guest or Michael Parks as the torturing host. Both fit their respective roles and it’s almost hurtful to see them in a movie that just doesn’t have much in store for you.

Though there IS tea.

Though there IS tea.

Don’t get me wrong- what you see in this movie will never be put into another movie ever again, other than perhaps a parody. But this isn’t the kind of thing many would want to emulate in the first place, thankfully. Once you realize the sort of film you’re watching, there’s not much else to shock you if you’re shocked in the first place. Things go from bad to worse, and when there’s not even hope for a mildly pleasing ending, you kind of drop off and just want it to end.

What should be said is that this isn’t the dreckfest The Human Centipede was, as similar in content as the films are. Where Centipede evidently wanted to see how much you could take,Tusk knows that the people, not the sight gags, are what keep you interested at all, if you were to begin with. In trying to find a balance between the Horror and Comedy, we get a movie that begins closer to Comedy, leans toward Horror, jerks away…and hits random potholes of Horror the rest of the trip. Sorry to overload you with the road metaphor, but it is what it is.

Justin Long is not a ghost the entire time, no.

Justin Long is not a ghost the entire time, no.

Positives: Good performances, nicely done writing considering the subject matter.

Negatives: What begins as an interesting Horror story soon plunges the depths of stupidity and you know there’s no going back.

Grade: C-


One Response to “Movie Review- Tusk”

  1. Skinny Pete Says:

    I still want to see this


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: