My List: Red State (2011)

Rating: 9.5/10

After three boys find a woman on a website to have sex with them, but once they get there they are almost immediately kidnapped by a religious cult believing they are doing God’s work. It quickly becomes a standoff between the cult and the local and federal police.

Kevin Smith made this on a very limited budget and in the end made something entirely different from his usual stoner fanfare. This film, outside of one or two dry comments, is almost completely devoid of humor. It’s a fairly serious tale that feels almost like it should be “based on a true story” even though it’s far from it. But it feels more like a film showing you step-by-step what happened during this violent confrontation between these terrorists and Federal Law.

This film was quite entertaining and thrilling enough I felt like I was at the edge of my seat the whole time while watching it. I never knew what to expect and every twist and turn surprised me as the plot kept ramping up. I suppose my only real complaint is that with the story constantly jumping around there really wasn’t a person I could point at and think “there, that’s the main character.” But that does match the style of it feeling like the story of this confrontation between two groups on different sides of the law. But still, it’s hard to know who to root for.

SCORING:

+10: Kevin Smith tries something different and it works wonderfully. This is a film unlike any I’ve seen, at least not without being based on something in reality

-0.5: No main character, really, but it (almost) doesn’t matter because of how stylized everything is throughout the flick

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