(WARNING: Minor spoilers)
I’m gonna be honest – as a Kevin Smith fan, I was a little cautious about getting excited for Tusk upon the announcement for it’s creation/release. While I wasn’t particularly doubting that Smith could create an enjoyable horror movie, I was a little sceptical about whether he’d pull it off as well as his earlier (all comedy) work. There’s been enough directors soiling their own name (or, at the least, wasting a lot of people’s money) by trying something new – whether it be a genre or style, or even both. I just didn’t want something similar happening to Kev.
However, I was pleasantly surprised at how amazing this film is. It is truly one of his best films to date, without a doubt.
While the film starts off very ominous, and very sketchy (once we’re 20 minutes in), it is clear that Smith didn’t want to leave comedy completely for this feature. With that in mind, the film is very well kept with its serious and disturbing nature – especially considering the plot was based on a fake Gumtree ad Smith came across one day, and later joked about on his podcast show, Smodcast.
For those who don’t know of the plot’s inspiration, here’s the sitch: someone posted a (fake) ad on Gumtree seeking a room-mate to share their flat with. The one condition upon accepting the spare room to the place, was that you must dress as a walrus whenever you are in the house.
From this, Kevin joked about the idea that the walrus suit was made from skin, and the poster of the ad wanted to psychotically turn the room-mate into a human-walrus hybrid, and left it up to the fans on whether it would be made.
While the film is edited in a much different way to his prior work, I think this new style with inter-cut scenes really works for this feature in thickening the plot every so often. I appreciate the pacing of these inter-cut scenes, too, as they’re not so often that you think “please can we just get on with the story”, and placed in delicately to certain scenes, much like a spice that gives your meal that something-extra so it’s not too bland and not too much.
I was also (initially, unpleasantly) surprised at how disturbing the walrus suit actually looked. The make-up for the film is phenomenal, as I can’t find a flaw in the placement of the tusks upon the unsuspecting Wallace’s face. While I don’t want to give away any spoilers on how the suit looks, I will advise: if you are uncomfortable with seeing scars and body horror, this is not the film for you.
If you’re looking for something messed up with a lot of gore, this isn’t what you’re looking for’ but if you want a creepy night in with something that’ll shock you without making you too uncomfortable (as the comedy should lighten the situation for you – especially Johnny Depp’s scenes as the hilarious Guy LaPointe), then this is the horror movie for you.