Red State

A rabidly homophobic pastor and his flock of extended family barricade themselves inside their remote compound rather than submit to a search by an ATF team led by Joseph (John Goodman). The sect has hostages – due to be sacrificed for crimes against Scripture. Then Joseph’s team gets the order to slaughter everyone to cover up an accidental shooting.

Kevin Smith’s horror/conspiracy/black comedy is, unfortunately, equally bodged as he throws out the storytelling rulebook. For example, by having the pastor deliver a tedious 15-minute sermon justifying his stance. He’s a nutjob, Kevin. We, the converted, get it. And like the cast, Smith is trying to take down too many targets – religious extremism and kneejerk government responses to terrorism. But to fight those battles, you need more than the cardboard-cutout characters on show here. 5/10

Released October 13, 2011.

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