If I am to go into detail on how much I enjoyed Kevin Smith’s movies when I was younger and the steady decline of his films since he has become mainstream in Hollywood I’ll be writing for days. It is almost a scary opposite of Quentin Tarantino who also started in the Independent film world and has only grown as a director since becoming main stream. Smith’s best work comes from work that has a message from the heart. That being said, here is his first foray into the horror genre.
|Bring out the gimp.|
Three incredibly unlikable teenage boys answer a want ad for a woman who invites them over for some loving’. Once there she drugs their beer and they wake up as prisoners of a fanatical cult of religious nuts that kill people who are not moral. After killing a couple people and a LOT of talk the ATF comes in and starts a shoot-out with the cult. Can anyone survive the madness?
|Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.|
Where do I begin? First off, the teen characters are completely unlikable so, when they act like idiots and do NOTHING to make them appeal to me on a personal level I am not going to care if they survive the situation they are in. It also doesn’t help if the writer seems to switch protagonists on you. It was clever in “A Nightmare on Elm Street” and “Psycho because it is only one character and the audience is not expecting a main character to snuff it. This movie does this a couple times before it finally settles down on the B plot of the ATF agent played by, John Goodman. Goodman does a fine job but this movie is really not his best work at all.
|Send out your beef patties!|
If anything this movie feels like Kevin Smith just wanted to ride the coat tails of Rob Zombie and his horror movie style. While Zombie’s movie style can be hit or miss you can tell he is at least an intelligent fanboy who appreciates the genre he is dealing with. With Smith it felt like he watched “The Devil’s Rejects” and wanted to make it chattier. Smith seems to have forgotten that in a movie you should SHOW rather than TELL. The entire shoot-out scene with the ATF seemed a lot like the fire fight with the Firefly family in “The Devil’s Rejects”. Granted, that movie was a lot more violent and was much more like a grindhouse movie than “Red State” but it still felt like déjà vu.
Is “Red State” worth watching? Not in the least. Kevin Smith is really starting veer in strange ways. It feels like forever since he has done something that he is really good at like just making another Jay and Silent Bob movie (and no, “Clerks 2” doesn’t count). This movie is too dull to be a real horror and it’s not funny enough to be his style of dark comedy. Oddly enough there was alternate ending that I when I read about it in Wikipedia it really bugged me that they chose the snoozefest of an ending they used. This movie would have been at least somewhat cooler if they decided to close with a weird WTF ending.