Friday, April 03, 2015

Tusk (2014)

I really like this new direction Kevin Smith has taken with his filmmaking. I always enjoyed his comedies, although there was a tendency toward repetition and the past couple I'd seen had felt perhaps more than a little stale. Having tuned out of his work around the time of JERSEY GIRL and CLERKS 2, I only just recently watched his two most recent movies, and have been completely surprised by the direction he takes them in.

I like the fact that this movie is difficult to nail down. It exists outside convenient focus-group marketing categories. The tone shifts quite sharply between horror and comedy, but it works. There is genuinely nightmarish imagery worthy of Tod Browning, and a detective investigating the case who could be Inspector Clouseau's French-Canadian cousin. As the villain, Michael Parks delivers a truly terrifying and intense performance that equals his fine work in Smith's RED STATE.

This film and RED STATE have renewed my interest in Smith's work. I never thought I'd be saying this again, but I look forward to seeing what he does next.

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