To say there are few movies that have as much buzz going into Sundance as Kevin Smith’s first foray into horror with Red State would be an understatement because there are NO movies that have been discussed and debated as much without anyone having seen it. There’s also all the controversy surrounding the unconventional way the outspoken filmmaker has chosen to market and sell the movie that has created a “prove it” attitude in the mind of movie writers, something that accounted for the dozens of them standing in line early one morning to get tickets. All these elements added up to a premiere with a huge demand for tickets as well as becoming one of the festival’s biggest events. But did the actual movie live up to all that hype and expectations? Here’s a clip from our review:
On the surface, the plot is about three horny teens in a remote area of the country who answer an online ad from a woman soliciting sex. Once they arrive, they’re drugged and they wake up in a church lined up as sacrificial lambs for evangelical preacher Abin Cooper (Michael Parks), the leader of the Five Points Church who wants to rid the world of homosexuals. One would think that this sort of premise would be prime fodder for the type of gory horror Eli Roth has done so well (depending on who you ask) but as soon as we arrive at the church and are subjected to a ridiculously long sermon by Park’s character as a preamble to killing a homosexual they’ve saran-wrapped to a cross, the wind is sucked out of the movie’s sails pretty damn quick.