Monday, October 17, 2011

31 Days of Horror: Red State

2011, Kevin Smith (yeah, that kevin smith) -- download

Damn damn damn, I am a bit annoyed at the extremely lenient application of word Horror that some people use.  This movie was not, even in the furthest stretch, a horror movie.  The even further stretch might connect it to that thin line of torture porn that I refused to include in this project.  Oh well, c'est la vie.  Movie watched, no harm no foul.

This is a movie about a wackjob religious cult that is also doing a Waco style isolation on a walled compound.  They hassle the residents of a small town protesting everything the same way Westboro does. We are introduced to them via a classroom discussion that refers to them as nuckin' futs.  And then almost immediately we are connected to them via a trio of horny teenagers who want to do something internet raunchy with an older woman. Unfortunately the woman is a daughter of the church and the whole charade was to draw sinners to the church.  And the sinners are systematically murdered in front of the congregation. The capture and terrorizing of the kids is the only element of horror in the whole bloody movie.

It quickly devolves into a Waco style government vs wackjobs standoff with guns ablazing.  Honestly, despite incredible cinematography and typical Kevin Smith dialogue (which i adore) it really just felt like a high budget movie of the week.  There was no draw into the story of cult vs government agents. In fact there seemed to be no real direction to the plot, just the standoff and subsequent resolution.  Its a movie where you can really enjoy the execution of the elements but not enjoy the whole.  The whole was lacking in the long payoff.

I just wish the movie had followed through on it's attempt at a headspin.  There is a misdirect that I really wished had not been just a misdirect.  Stop reading now if you don't want to know where the movie takes a tangential turn. You see, just when we think the whole standoff is going to end up in one massive clusterfuck, the trumpets sound -- literally.  There are massive trumpets sounding that almost deafen the agents around the compound.  The nuckin' futs think it is the Rapture and all come out, guns dropped and completely gleeful that there time has come.  We almost believe them; the agents almost believe them. But no, alas, it was not to be. In a closing scene the agent in charge of the affair (John Goodman) explains how the hippies living on the farm next to the compound were fucking with the cult, hoping to just mess with their little minds. No Rapture and no real close for the movie but that the cult gets to go to jail.