FILM REVIEW: Red State

Written by Rebecca Lawson

Red State. I don’t know what to say. This movie is classed as a horror film, but I don’t know if that’s really an accurate description.  To me it seemed more like a thriller/action movie – but then again, are genres ever really accurate?

The movie is set in an unnamed small town in the middle of nowhere, which also happens to be home to the Five Points Church – an evangelical church primarily based on the infamous “God Hates Fags” Westboro Baptist Church.

The beginning of the movie sees three teenage boys drive out to have sex with a woman they met on the internet, but she turns out to have lured them there and after drugging them, she brings them to the compound of said church. During these scenes, you are overwhelmed with a “don’t go in there” feeling, even before they get out of the car.

What happens after that is very intense and is quite an assault on your emotions. It’s hard to explain why it’s so intense without giving parts of the plot away, but there are many scenes where you find yourself conflicted with not wanting to watch, and not being able to look away.

The acting in this movie is just outstanding. Every single person is completely convincing in their role, and I seem to admire John Goodman’s talents more and more every day.

I also love the way that there isn’t really one “main character”. The movie starts by following one of the teenage boys, and then all three of them, then the church leaders and it is constantly changing and constantly giving you a different perspective.

One thing that I didn’t like about the movie was that there didn’t seem to really be a point to it. Every movie should end with you thinking about why it was made and what you can learn from it, even if it’s only something small. When this ended, I just felt like I needed something to “end” it and tell me what the point to it was. Maybe the lesson was just to not have sex with strangers you meet on the internet?

That being said, it was still an interesting and captivating movie and certainly a very confronting way to warn you of the potential dangers of extremism and blind faith.

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