Horror movie

Kevin Smith’s Horror Debut “Red State” Is Even More Terrifying 10 Years Later

From Danny Boyle 28 days later at Scorsese Shutter island, some of the most entertaining genre films are made by established directors who try to challenge themselves by trying something new. Best known for his independent comedies, Kevin smith might not be the first name that comes to mind when you think of legitimately scary movies, but I would say his 2011 thriller Red state is proof that the director has more in his bag than vulgar humor and comic book references. Now that the film is celebrating its 10th anniversary and Smith is set to return to horror with the Horror show-inspired Kilroy was here, I think this is the perfect time to revisit his surprisingly effective approach to religious terror.

If you haven’t seen it, Red state follows a group of teens who drive off to meet an older woman after being seduced by the promise of group sex. Naturally, the arrangement turns out to be a trap, and the teens find themselves kidnapped by Five Points Trinity Church, an extremist Christian sect determined to make an example of these young sinners. Meanwhile, authorities are alerted to the church’s suspicious actions and decide to pay a visit, the investigation soon escalating into total carnage in an unpredictable thriller.

There is much more to the film than this setup, with the story heading in unexpected directions as the bodies start to pile up and the situation becomes more desperate. In reality, Red stateThe ever-changing script of means it feels like a different movie every 15 minutes, even making you wonder who the real protagonist is and making it impossible to predict where this crazy storyline is heading as it defies the genre’s expectations. The film can go from Hotel To The wicker man without notice, and this manic energy is precisely what makes it so entertaining.

Kevin Smith at his most versatile.

Like most of Smith’s productions, Red state undeniably has a (mostly black) sense of humor, with moments like Sheriff Wynan’s almost burlesque levels of incompetence and the general absurdity of watching middle-aged worshipers arm themselves with assault rifles, but it is certainly not a comedy. These brief laughs are primarily used to build character traits and keep viewers on their toes as they anticipate the next disturbing scene. This general weirdness and frenetic pace may not appeal to everyone, but I see it as the movie’s greatest strength, allowing Smith to play with genre tropes in new and exciting ways.

Despite the general madness, it’s clear the director borrows from real-world horrors when he tells this bizarre fable, drawing inspiration from notorious figures like Jim Jones and Fred Phelps while also making reference to infamous events like the Siege of Waco in 1993. Even in 2011, Smith intended to show how excessive publicity can push some of these far-right groups to even more heinous acts, which will only worsen in subsequent years with the rise of social media politics and fake news.

The credible script is not Red stateIt’s only trump card, with Smith taking a lo-fi approach to filmmaking that only enhances the chaotic elements of the story. Featuring messy digital photography and quick, dirty cuts mostly done on location (the director having edited most of the film during filming), the film makes you feel like you are really trapped alongside these characters in a terrifying and confusing situation. It was also mostly shot in sequence, allowing the performances to naturally escalate from an acting perspective.

Speaking of actor, John goodman stands out for his portrayal of a jaded federal agent who has been ordered to silence all witnesses, and Michael Angarano, Nicolas Braun and Kyle galler make a lovely trio of fun loving teens. However, it is undeniable that Michael ParksFanatic Abin Cooper is the main attraction here, lighting up the screen with his captivating sermons of fire and brimstone and fatherly demeanor in a performance that highlights how easy it is to fall into personality cults. Channeling real-world preachers (with some inspiration from fascist rulers for flavor), Parks is equally charming and imposing as the leader of this deadly community, and you understand why his followers are willing to die for his beliefs. It’s no wonder that Smith is teaming up with the late underrated actor again. defense, which features another powerful performance from Parks.

Church against State.

Growing up in an extremely religious household, I can understand how Smith perfectly sums up the dangers of sectarian thinking and how these groups can become an echo chamber of hate when they are convinced that their harmful beliefs are morally justified. The fact that the government’s incompetent response is making the situation worse into something worse actually makes it Red state more credible. The film is even more relevant now than it was in 2011, with an online culture of outrage making these communities louder and more dangerous.

Kevin Smith is no stranger to religious controversy, especially after Dogma aroused the outrage of several religious groups in 1999, and Red state was no different. A small group of Westboro Baptist Church members even showed up to protest the premiere, but the director laughed at them, who joined in the fun. Of course, the religious elements of the film were even more pronounced in the original script, which featured an even crazier character. Deus Ex machina once the heavenly trumpets interrupt the climactic showdown. While the finished film ends with an ironic coincidence, Smith initially wanted the film to end with the literal apocalypse. While that might have been a step too far, it’s still fun to imagine a wilder cut of this already bonkers image.

At the end of the day, Red state isn’t a perfect movie, suffering from bizarre tonal changes and a few action sequences that could have benefited from a bigger budget, but it’s still a terrifying exploration of armed faith and a refreshing change of pace. for Kevin Smith as an artist. While the film may not fulfill the horrific promises of its first act, it remains a unique example of religious horror that’s even more exciting 10 years from now.