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Man is the most dangerous animal

Flint Hill student group reviews Tusk, a new horror film.

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Anyone who can take a movie like Tusk seriously deserves a lot of credit, due to its intriguingly bizarre storyline. Director Kevin Smith (Clerks, Dogma) creates a very dark and twisted tale with raunchy humor piled on top.

With the movie starring Justin Long (Accepted, Dodgeball) as internet podcaster Wallace Bryton, his character travels up to Manitoba, Canada, for his podcast, to interview “The Kill Bill Kid,” a famous YouTuber who made a viral video of himself cutting his own leg off. Due to unfortunate circumstances, the interview with the “Kid” does not work out and Wallace pursues another interviewee for his podcast. He arrives at a mansion owned by an old seafarer named Howard Howe, played by Michael Parks (Kill Bill, Redstate).

The old seafarer offers Bryton tea, and proceeds to tell him an unbelievable story about a walrus who saved his life from a great white shark. Shortly after, Wallace passes out from a drugged tea, served up by Howe, and eventually wakes up in a wheelchair with only one leg. It is from that point on that Wallace discovers the old man’s loony plot–to literally turn him into a walrus named Mr. Tusk.

The acting in Tusk is marvelous, especially that of Michael Parks with his performance as an old psychotic adventurer. The character Howard Howes has a mental illness with a schizophrenic plot twist that proves to the viewer that man is the most dangerous animal. Right from the get-go you know something is up. Parks gives off an eerie feeling every time he’s on screen, despite the fact that he looks like a harmless being. Justin Long’s portrayal, on the other hand, of Wallace, delivers a dedicated egotistical podcaster with passion for his work. Trying to comprehend what his character experiences is simply stupefying. Long and Parks bring their characters to life and make a very unlikely situation believable.

The cinematography and lighting exemplifies Smith’s ability to scare the audience, along with providing some comedic relief. Multiple times he would shoot with one steadyshot for several minutes, creating suspenseful boundaries for the viewer. Additionally, Smith incorporated monologues, during which the camera would slowly zoom in on a character’s face, clearly capturing their emotions as they spoke. The spotlight on the characters’ faces that illuminated them, while everything around them was dark, was an enticing way of filming and creating focus on each character, but unfortunately became repetitive and lost its effect.

The music brings an unsettling but laughable charm to the film. Hearing classical music, while Justin Long is being surgically turned into a walrus, makes you burst out laughing with a concerned look on your face, questioning if it’s correct to laugh at something like this. When things get serious, the music turns into a great roller coaster of suspense and makes you prepare yourself for any jump scares, even if there aren’t any.

By the end of a film like this, you might make eye contact with the person next to you only to see their jaw has dropped. Some might not even be able to put into words what they think of the movie. If you can overlook the main idea of the story and want something hilariously psychotic, then look no further. There is a deeper meaning to it than just changing a man into a walrus.

 Written by,

The Movie Junkies: Mitchell Mahoney, Sam Lisker, Vance Nelson, Zach Marumoto, and Connor Ennist

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The School Newspaper of Flint Hill School
Man is the most dangerous animal