Red State (2011)
Running Time: 88 minutes
Directed & Written by: Kevin Smith
Starring: Michael Parks, John Goodman, Melissa Leo, Kyle Gallner, Kerry Bishe, Michael Angarano, Nicholas Braun
Red State is an indie action/crime thriller/horror flick which starts with a teenager, Jarod (Gallner) inviting his best friends, Travis (Angarano) and Billy-Ray (Braun) to have a foursome with an older woman, Sara (Leo). While en route to meet the woman, Travis accidentally hit the side of a parked car on the road. Upon meeting the woman, they are given spiked beer and wake up to find themselves trapped in the fundamentalist Five Points Trinity Church led by Pastor Abin Cooper (Parks). This triggered a series of events which led the church to be under siege by ATF agents led by Agent Joseph Keenan (Goodman). Will the teenagers be able to escape this ordeal safely?
Red State is by far one of Kevin Smith’s best films. The film started in a premise so familiar in the slasher/horror movie formula, only to make a pleasant turn into a topic that is completely unexpected and refreshing. The plot and story line wasn’t far-fetched instead it is quite intelligent, and with the help of some handheld camera and snorri cam angles plus great editing by Smith himself, it only made the film that much more thrilling to watch as the story unfolds. The film is unpredictable and just as you thought you knew what was going to happen next, the story takes a completely different turn with the characters.
Michael Park gave an exceptional performance, stealing every scene he’s in. He definitely gave me the creeps as the leader of the church. Goodman and Leo also gave convincing performances, with equally great performances from the younger actors; Gallner, Bishe, Angarano and Braun.
Overall, Red State is a gem to watch with its unpredictable nature with both the story and its characters. Highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a film that will leave you on the edge of your seat.
Rating: 7 out of 10