Honestly, I'm a little conflicted about this post. The reason? Red State kind of blew me away, in a good way... but I attribute a (big) part of that to the fact that I knew very little about it going in. All I knew was that Kevin Smith wrote and directed it and that it premiered at Sundance this past January, which led to an anti-marketing/distribution tirade by Smith that culminated in his decision to self-distribute the film on a traveling tour across the States. That's it. That's all I knew. Yes, I saw a trailer for it but the trailer gives nothing away. Agitated as I was at first, I'm glad to have known so little about it. So now I'm going to attempt to talk about this film without giving hardly anything away. (Good luck, me.)
Okay, so it was at the last stop of the tour at the Wiltern theatre here in Los Angeles where I was able to see the film followed by a Q&A with Smith and most of the cast. I was really surprised to hear him say that he doesn't consider himself or identify with being a director, especially after seeing Red State, as it is a very well directed and well written film. On the other hand, I was NOT surprised to hear him say that he wanted this film to be more "unsettling" than horrific. It is incredibly unsettling. It is also provocative, intriguing, original, engaging and just really raw. And although I wouldn't place it into one specific genre, I will say that there are shades of horror, drama, thriller, action and cult throughout.
Lastly, whether you are a Kevin Smith fan like myself or not, you should know that this is absolutely nothing like any of his other films. I wouldn't label it as a "Kevin Smith movie" by any means. It's just a good movie. Please, please go see Red State when/if it comes to theaters.