RED STATE - Review

Take yourself back to your High School years. Remember always carrying your books at waist height to cover the inevitable boner you’d get after, well pretty much anything? How low would you have stooped to be able to enjoy sexual relations with anyone but yourself? Now linger on that thought and take yourself to a small country town where your choices of said sexual partners are trailer trash or relatives. Throw in an internet hook up site and a strict Baptist commune and you have just entered the world of Kevin Smith’s new movie “RED STATE”.

From the man that brought you Clerks 1 & 2 and created the cult classic characters Jay and Silent Bob, Red State is a far stretch from the expected storyline of a Kevin Smith cult classic but most certainly does not disappoint. In the outer reaches of a small country town lies a Baptist commune known as Five Points Trinity Church, led by Abin Cooper (Michael Parks). Five Points gains notoriety by protesting places such as a local gay teenager’s funeral. If the plot sounds familiar already that’s because it’s not hard to connect Smith’s inspiration for this movie to the infamous Westboro Batist church, better known as the “God Hates America” church, however, what he does with this story will leave you with more wonderment than hatred.

With an amazing mixed cast of superstars, including John Goodman (Roseanne, Blues Brothers 2000, The Big Lebowski) Kevin Pollack (End of Days, Casino, The Usual Suspects) Kyle Gallner (A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010), A Haunting in Connecticut) Michael Angarano (Sky high, The Forbidden Kingdom) Nicholas Braun (Sky High) Stephen Root (Dogeball, True Blood, No Country for Old Men) it appears Smith has brought together a plethora of child stars to mix with the ol’ pro’s and it just works.

The audience is taken on a journey inside the bowels of a cult-like Baptist church and much to my surprise, everything you think goes on, does. The three boys, who merely wanted to engage in some innocent, fornicating action when they realize they are getting far more than they anticipated. There is absolutely no politeness in Smith’s tale telling and it is terrifying and confirming. But true to form, Smith leaves you with more to ponder on than just the inner workings of an infamous hateful organisation. Challenging and eye opening, Smith took a huge risk releasing this film independently, following the lead of Mel Gibson when he independently released “The Passion of the Christ”. This movie will receive great recognition from the non-believers and bad recognition from the rest, either way in this case for sure, all publicity is good publicity.

Being raised in a strict Christian home myself, there are many, many similarities found and makes one realise the fine line between a church and a cult. I would highly recommend this movie to anyone but most certainly to those who understand the inner workings of organized religion. You will be shocked at the accuracy of this portrayal and thoroughly entertained by the immaculate casting and a genius writing that is Kevin Smith.

Review by Rach M.