Red State focuses on three horny high school boys who go to meet on an older woman they’ve met on the internet who seems to be offering some pretty kinky sex. However, it’s all a cunning ruse and the boys awake drugged and bound and naked, entrapped by a terrifyingly sincere fundamentalist cult lead by the kind of American preacher that makes Fred Phelps look benign and saintly. And when they try to escape, things escalate into a brutal Waco-like siege that’s bust with cynical violence by law enforcement.
Some of the scenes are great. Some are unsettling. A couple of the killings are shocking. I had to look up Michael Parks who plays Pastor Abin Cooper – you’ll recognise him if you do – and he’s truly a (creepy) sensation. He gives one ten minute monologue that’s enough to send you reaching for the bleach. And Kerry Bishe’s in it too, as his sweet though not entirely naive granddaughter. Melissa Leo as her mom and the original honeypot is completely terrifying. Yet this is the work of shambling stoner-lite doofus Kevin Smith? That was unexpected.
Final verdict: I think I probably liked it a lot because it completely tapped into my deep-seated liberal disparagement of religious crazies. You may hate it for absolutely the same reason.