Directed by: Kevin Smith
Starring: Michael Parks, Melissa Leo, John Goodman
I was just as surprised to find out that Kevin Smith directed this as I was that he did Cop Out, and I was just about as impressed with the final product. This movie just seems like it really has no idea what it wants to be, so it just throws up its hands and says “I hope you think this is edgy or something, I dunno.”
Red State centers on a Westboro Baptist-like church, which stages protests at funerals for gay people… after they kill them. They kidnap three boys that they lured through the internet and are prepared to kill them too, when one breaks out and shoots a guy while the deputy is there to investigate. What follows is John Goodman and his ATF squad getting in a Waco-style situation with the church, whose members are heavily armed. The gunfight finally ends when the remaining churchgoes give themselves up willingly because they hear trumpets, believing that the rapture is upon them (it turns out it was just the neighbors fucking with them).
The movie starts out as a workmanlike horror film, but once John Goodman arrives (who was really good, to nobody’s surprise) it changes tone like, four times. Combine that with the really lame twist ending, and you realize that Smith was more interested in airing his personal hate towards the church and state than he was in actually making a movie. Also, for everyone who thinks that this is a totally crazy move on his part to make a horror movie about crazy religious folks killing homosexuals, then maybe you should take a look at half of all horror movies ever made.