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Ahead of the its premiere next month at the Sundance Film Festival, Kevin Smith has released a teaser for Red State, a horror movie about a group of misfits who encounter “fundamentalism gone to the extreme in Middle America.”
It’s a teaser in the truest sense of the word, as the minute-long trailer is little more than a series of rapid-fire clips juxtaposing religious imagery with flashes of Westboro Baptist Church-type protests and Waco- or Ruby Ridge-style armed standoffs. And then there’s something involving, I don’t know, a dog cage and a ball-gag. It’s all set to a hymn/sermon muttered by Michael Parks, who plays Pastor Abin Cooper. It makes for strange, but oddly intriguing, footage.
Here’s the official description:
Ever since Clerks (cowinner of the Filmmakers Trophy at the 1994 Sundance Film Festival), Kevin Smith has been known for his sharp, subversive, comedic writing. He shifts from comedy to horror with Red State and aptly demonstrates that good writing transcends genre.
Red State begins by following three horny high-school boys who come across an online ad from an older woman looking for a gang bang. Boys being boys, they hit the road to satisfy their libidinal urges. But what begins as a fantasy takes a dark turn as they come face-to-face with a terrifying “holy” force with a fatal agenda.
Instead of relying on archetypes and predictable formulas, Smith meticulously fashions all-too-real characters, utilizing exceptional performances (notably by Michael Parks) and an intelligent script. His realistic style gives the film an intimate feeling, heightening the terror to biblical proportions. Red State is a shocking new kind of horror film that aggressively confronts higher powers and extreme doctrines with a vengeance.
Red State, which stars Michael Angarano, Kerry Bishe, Nicholas Braun, Kyle Gallner, John Goodman, Melissa Leo, Michael Parks, Kevin Pollak and Stephen Root, is set for wider release in March.