Red State (2011)


Three high school boys go off in search of internet sex and find themselves kidnapped by a heavily armed religious cult.

Kevin Smith’s first attempt at a “grown up” film, Red State is an off-beat thriller with horror overtones that continually tries – and occasionally succeeds – at confounding your expectations. It begins as a Porky’s style road movie, veers into torture porn territory only to become a siege thriller. Smith’s willingness to dispose of key characters on a whim always keeps you guessing, but it also means that you never really connect with any of them. His dialogue is a little too pleased with itself in places, turning into ranting monologues rather than genuine discourse; the plot is also rather too far fetched to be taken seriously as drama and it’s not O.T.T. enough to be considered exploitation. But it is off-beat and unusual enough to always entertain thanks to watchable performances from John Goodman and Michael Parks.

Despite its faults, Red State is probably Kevin Smith’s best effort to date.


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