Red State

Kevin Smith, USA, 2011, 96 min.

Red State is a conundrum. Going in, I thought I had the film pegged. A trio of teenagers, lured with the promise of sex, get captured by a crazed preacher and his cult of ultra-conservatives. A not-so-veiled reference to the Westboro Baptist Church. There, during a church ceremony, they are readied for a sacrifice.

It’s a standard horror setup with a religious cult gimmick. You can guess where the film would go from there, but Kevin Smith turns it on its head. Not once, but twice. It felt like I was watching three different movies.

That being said, I’m not sure exactly what Kevin Smith was going for. Yes, the first part has a clear message. Beyond that the first two sections are standard genre exercises.and uninspiring. The last section is intriguing and unconventional but ultimately unrewarding.

Actually, that is a good way to describe Red State. I admire Kevin Smith for trying something different but it just doesn’t work.

This film wins the award “Worst Church” for one very close to what we have in the world today.

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