Red State: A Review, A Perspective, A Bad-Ass Freakin’ Movie
Kevin Smith has a new movie. You know, just in case you have been hiding under a rock and haven’t heard about it. His new movie is called Red State and it is a big time genre change for him—a self-described horror flick. Totally different. This isn’t Clerks. No, fer reals it isn’t.
So, let’s back up a little. Several months ago, Kevin Smith began a small, and I mean very small, movie. He decided that with that teeny, tiny movie he would also engage in a guerilla marketing campaign. And part of that campaign was to embrace the blogosphere, the very blogosphere that both adores and berates him.
And this is where we came into the picture. Kevin Smith auctioned off the rights to be the first website in the universe to release exclusive posters for the movie. Three posters. GFBRobot won one of these exclusive auctions. We won The Father—which is an awesome and unsettling poster.
We were hella stoked to have won the auction and to partner with Kev (cuz, we are friends now, I can call him Kev). Our bid was matched by him and donated to charity, so everyone wins right?
Oh, but wait. There’s more.
Kevin announced via Twitter that he was gonna have an exclusive, blogger only, Los Angeles-based, private screening of Red State and the Red State poster auction winners would AUTOMATICALLY get tickets. To the private screening. Of Red State. In Los Angeles!! Oh my GAWD! How freakin cool?!? Sooper freakin cool! THAT’S how freakin cool!
So, I went to L.A. And I saw the screening. And it was. . .well. . .totally effing amazing!
Okay, so enough back story. Now to the movie itself.
Holy Fuck! See this film. No really. See it! So good! He calls it a horror film, and it kinda is. I mean, horrible things happen. But it is a horror film like nothing I have ever seen.
Most horror films have a sense of the supernatural. Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, Friday the 13th, Amityville, Final Destination, even Saw and Seven have an almost omniscient supernatural feel. But not Red State. In Red State, the horror is seeing people you understand go through and perform horrible acts in situations that we have all heard of, using materials that are simply mundane. Sort of.
- A couple of asshole kids up to no good, who are callow and cruel, doing what asshole, cruel, callow teenagers will do. Totally knowable. You know these kids. You may have even been one of these kids to a lesser degree. But their casual cruelty is all the more striking BECAUSE it is something we have all witnessed in real life.
- A character that is totally Fred Phelps amplified, leading his flock, which is very much like David Koresh’s Branch Davidians in that they are all family in one way or another. And they do terrible things that, while absolutely inexcusable, are not impossible to imagine, given the current real-life antics of some religious extremists.
- And while The Family is really awful, and the kids are douche bags—the most horrible part of ALL is that the cruelty and the fanaticism and the callousness in them is no match for the casual acceptance—almost evil banality—of a bureaucracy gone horribly array! It’s fucking genius!
There are layers and layers of awesome to this film. Seeing the irony of “honorable” men, the way grief twists into rage and absolute hate, the concept that context is the key to what seems extreme or just insane. Fucking Genius. Seriously.