Sunday, 14 September 2014

Review: Red State (2011)

Red State
IMDB rate: 6,2
Genre: Thriller

I was always quite interested in watching the movie Red State, mainly because the DVD cover looks pretty awesome. I found it on Netflix so of course I had to give it a go. First of all, Red State is absolutely not what I expected it to be. It's not really a horror movie, more a thriller. It's funny because I  see this DVD often in stores but I never noticed that Kevin Smith is the director/writer of Red State. I'm a big fan of Kevin Smith's comedy movies, such as Clerks and Dogma. As you can imagine, Red State is absolutely nothing like either of his previous movies. I think Dogma is somewhat close to Red State because of it's religious theme, but besides that it's completely different. 

The teenager Jarod (Kyle Gallner) invites his best friends Travis (Michael Angarano) and Billy-Ray (Nicholas Braun) to have a foursome with a thirty-eight year-old woman. While driving to meet the woman, Travis hit a car parked on the road. When they meet the woman, she gives spiked beer to them and they pass out. When the three friends wake up, they find that they are trapped in the fundamentalist Five Points Trinity Church of the infamous Pastor Abin Cooper (Michael Parks) and that they will be killed. Meanwhile the church is under siege by ATF agents led by Agent Joseph Keenan (John Goodman) that have been ordered to destroy the terrorist cell. Will the teenagers be saved by the agents of the law enforcement agency?

Like I already said, I wouldn't really consider Red State to be a horror movie. It's more an action thriller. I think you might consider it a horror movie at heart. The beginning even starts of like it's a horror movie, but then it quickly changes in a thriller. Perhaps the horror element is in the religion or something? It's something that could really happen with these insane religious cults, which makes it somewhat scary. Other than that, not really a horror movie. 

Kevin Smith is well known for his dialogues, although his dialogues normally have a comedic/sarcastic twist. In Red State there is plenty of dialogue too, bit it's a lot more serious this time. Because of this it made me think of Quentin Tarantino movies sometimes, although these dialogues haven't reached the Tarantino level yet. I like that Kevin Smith makes his actor talk about what happened, instead of showing it. Makes you think a bit more as a viewer.

The acting in Red State is pretty good. Michael Angarano (Almost Famous), Nicholas Braun (The Perks of Being a Wallflower) and Kyle Gallner (Jennifer's Body, The Haunting in Connecticut) play a bunch of horny teens. They're all great actors, but I'm personally a big fan of Kyle Gallner. He plays in a bunch of horror movies, and I love him in every single one. John Goodman (The Big Lebowski) and Stephen Root (Office Space) play the cops. Both great actors, although Stephen Root's role is fairly small. The big star of this movie is of course Michael Parks (Kill Bill, Django Unchained), who plays the scary pastor Abin Cooper. He has a shitload of dialogue, but since he's no stranger to Tarantino movies, I think he's quite used to that. He plays his role incredibly convincing, which is probably the most scary part of this movie. A bit of a side notice: I thought he looked incredibly much like Bryan Cranston in this movie. 

This movie was very different than what I expected from it, but I did like it a lot. The acting is just incredibly good, and so it the storyline. I just re-watched the trailer and I still got excited by it although I already saw the movie. Even when I finally figured out the way this movie was going to be, I still was surprised by how it ended. The ending could've been totally different, and still be interesting. Red State is definitely very different from Kevin Smith's other work, but I like it. 

My personal rate: 8/10

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