Red State (2011)

Posted: September 19, 2011 in Movie Review
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Red State (2011)

Directed By: Kevin Smith

Starring: Michael Angarano, Nicholas Braun, Kyle Gallner, Stephen Root, John Goodman, Michael Parks, Melissa Lao

Subgenre: Exploitation

Red State

Synopsis: Three high school boys are lured into a trap by religious fundamentalists with the promise of sex, setting off a chain reaction of violent events.

Thoughts: Kevin Smith decides to depart his View Askew Universe to deliver a pretty powerful look into his political beliefs.  The story draws some pretty obvious references to the Westborough Baptist Church as well as the events that took place in Waco so many years ago.

The script isn’t perfect, and the story tends to ebb and flow with the dialogue, but it was more than enough to hold my attention for the run time.  There were some pretty funny lines, which helped to alleviate some of the tension, but what I thought really helped this movie was the acting.  Michael Parks played a truly creepy role as leader of the “church.”  I also thought John Goodman played his role extremely well.

Smith does his fair share of finger pointing, condemning the far right and the US Government, but to be fair, there is some weight to his accusations.  I do think that Smith’s points got a little too heavy handed when Goodman sat down with his superiors, and I think the movie would have been better without that tidy little wrap up.  Sometimes the unknown is better.

Even though this is a very violent movie, it doesn’t fit easily into the horror genre.  Had the violence been toned down even a little bit, it would have played more like a political drama.  I guess you could classify it as exploitation.

Red State doesn’t rock the genre, but it is worth seeing.  I’ve seen people singing its praises and people condemning it, but I think that has quite a bit to do with Kevin Smith being the director than the actual movie.  Check it out, it’s pretty good.


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