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Tusk (2014): A Review


No Film Comes Close to Touching The Abomination That is Director Kevin Smith’s "Tusk"

This is a film that children and young people should never hear about, and adults should avoid like the plague if they care about their sanity. Much like the infamous Human Centipede trilogy (2009, 2011, 2015), there aren’t many movies that come close to touching the disturbing nature of this artwork, if that’s what it should be called.

The comedy-horror centers around a trip taken by podcast host Wallace Bryton (Justin Long) for his podcast with fellow host Teddy Craft (Haley Joel Osment). On their podcast, called The Not-See Party, Bryton flies to various places to interview peculiar individuals and comes back home to tell Craft about his discoveries. The two seem to be successful and on top of the world, that is, until something so bizarre and mentally scarring would shake up their lives forever. 

The graphic and unsettling nature of Tusk is proportioned with its dark comedy. At first, the film seems to be a comedy and includes many familiar faces. One interesting Easter egg is the father-daughter cameo of Johnny Depp as Guy Lapointe and Lily-Rose Depp as a Canadian convenience store clerk. Other interesting cameos include Harley Morenstein as a Canadian border agent. Morenstein, who originated off YouTube, brought a humorous feel to the film that was refreshing but almost misleading due to the graphic nature of the second half of the film. If there had been more of an equilibrium between the two starkly different genres, then maybe Smith’s vision would have come to fruition. Instead, the film seems loose, disconnected, and almost awkward in some places. 

Even though the story might need a bit of work, the special effects of Bryton’s character throughout the film are enough to make any strong-stomach horror junkie lose their lunch. The ear-piercing screeches and screams from Bryton only make it harder to not press the mute button on the remote control. The skin suit and bulging eyes of his animalistic character look like a figure straight out of Hell. In no way are viewers prepared for the agony that is the walrus, and they are especially not ready to stay awake at night, ears pierced with the sound of Bryston’s agonizing shrieks. Visually and auditorily, Tusk does not disappoint in causing an upset stomach and headache. 


There are some great moments in the film that make it stick out past others in the horror genre. The walrus creature is extremely creative and one-of-a-kind, even if it causes a little emotional distress when seeing it for the first time. The characters also have normal reactions in their real-life scenarios, which makes the film feel a little more authentic. Smith’s film falls to B move status for multiple reasons. First, the storyline is rather disconnected, throwing the audience around from character story to, oh look… another character story. The personality of Howard Howe (Michael Parks) also was not executed as well as it could have been. Instead of coming off as truly scary or intelligent, Howe came off as a hermit and compulsive liar. He seemed more mentally disturbed than anything, and his mind created one of the most corrupt versions of abuse imaginable.

To save the spoilers, the ending was just about as bland and out-of-the-blue as it could possibly be. While the film feels like it could end there on a semi-constructed note, it was actually given a sequel, known as Yoga Hosers (2016). Tusk itself suffered critic-wise, only taking in a total of $1,848,317 for its entire run in movie theaters. After being nominated for a handful of niche horror awards, the film actually won the Fright Meter Award for the Best Supporting Actor (Michael Parks as Howard Howe) and the iHorror Award for Best Male Horror Performance (Justin Long). Many critics debate whether these awards are well-deserved. Although Justin Long gives a compelling performance as Bryton and might be the film’s strongest character, there is almost nothing about this movie that makes it redeemable. 

If someone is in need of another Kevin Smith fix, Yoga Hosers is the next available to watch in the series. Whether it will be worth its hour and a half running time is a question that has yet to be answered. If the film is anything close to its predecessor, it is strongly recommended to steer clear of the film and any more like it if you want to keep your sanity. This strange film will no doubt be talked about, whether positively or negatively I cannot say, for years to come. 


Tusk (2014) Official Trailer

Source: Dead Talk Live

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Intern Article Writer | Website | Posts

Sadie is an Intern Article Writer and Senior English Major at the University of Central Arkansas. In her spare time, she enjoys watching horror movies, reading, and spending time with her guinea pigs, Ginger and Spike.