A horror movie by Silent Bob, I mean Kevin Smith, naturally, I was intrigued. I love Silent Bob. I love his love for Star Wars, his small role in the latest Die Hard, his itty bitty cameo in Scream 3, and I love Dogma. Red State is not really a horror film in the typical sense. Basically, the premise, without giving too much away is there is creepy preacher dude who leads a cult of mostly family members, who basically hate everyone whose not white and straight. Of course, creepy preacher and his family/cult live in an out of the way compound armed to teeth for-I don’t know-Armageddon, or for when the ATF or FBI or Homeland Security decide to “intervene”. Now the preacher of this intolerant religion, played to perfection by Michael Parks, is taking action against sexual deviants in the name of the lord. You should watch, and I don’t want to give away to much details. I will say though, that they do entrap some poor idiotic teens just looking for some action.
I don’t know about you–but intolerance sure horrifies me. And if that isn’t horrifying enough, John Goodman (whom I love), is the ATF (person, officer, idk what, but guy in charge) who leads his team to the compound. They are unaware of hostages inside. John Goodman’s character is a good guy, yet, he follows orders, and they aren’t necessarily good orders–I’m pretty sure they weren’t legal orders. Let’s just say–the same guys probably made the same decisions for Ruby Ridge and Waco.
Then there is this great trumpet scene (yes, I’m being deliberately vague) that for a while made me think this movie was going to go all M. Night Shyamalan spooky, but it didn’t. But it wasn’t a disappointment, because it turned out to be a great comedic angle that only Kevin Smith can pull off.
There’s no typical horror fanfare. No mirror scare, no creepy music, no evil children or satanic possession or any other typical horror film elements. But it’s still horror, because it does elicit fear and disgust (in people, in creepy intolerant religions, government, etc.) and it’s all the more horrifying because there’s no devil to blame it on. No supernatural or psychopath to point the finger at. Just horrifying, disgusting people.