Red State DVD Review

So, Quentin Tarantino really enjoyed this film – they even used his commendation as one of their main marketing catch line/phrases, so you pretty much know what you’re in for. What’s more, is that there’s hardly an unfamiliar face in this movie.

The Plot

Three teenage guys find a middle aged woman in the area online, looking for sexual satisfaction, but she drugs their beers and they soon find themselves in the midst of some familial messianic cult ritual where they will be put to death (in a church) for their sins, and living lives of the sodomites.

The Target

Well, if you do like Tarantino films then you’ll probably enjoy this one, although there’s more gun play than actual gore and blood splatter (there’s plenty to imply the latter).

The Bottom Line

Well, there’s definitely something missing from this movie, and when thinking about it, I realized that there are too few good guys – as in, a character you can actually root for – or,for that matter, just a plainly likeable character. Most good stories have said characters, but in this case, the only guy one really identifies with, if not the teenagers (because honestly, they were up to some dumb sh…) is the special agent in charge (played by a noticeably slimmer John Goodman), but you’re mostly favouring him because he’s John Goodman. There are plenty of kooky individuals to keep you interested, like the obligatory 5 min cameo appearance by Kevin Pollack, and then there’s the woman who lured the teenagers into the sinful trap (played by Melissa Leo – who is, in this role, quite frankly, Whackadoodle!). However, that’s not really enough substance and redeemable qualities to make it worthwhile.

Goodman is always good and the ending was a slight departure from the norm, but it still left me kind of underwhelmed (not that I was expecting amazing things).

This is another one of those films that make you depressed to be a human, making you wonder, ‘why do we even have a modicum of faith in our fellow man’, it’s not all that existential, but if you lend it some thought (and you just might) you’ll once again wonder what the world is coming to… so yeah, this movie left me somewhat depressed, but then again it can’t all be balloons and superpowers. In the end though, the characters on the outside of the cult compound just didn’t provide enough for you to actually think this was a battle between good and bad/evil…