Set to premiere at next month’s Sundance Film Festival, writer/director Kevin Smith’s Red State has a new teaser trailer, courtesy of Smith’s Smodcast network.
The film represents a shift in Smith’s usual film genre of choice. A horror movie, Red State deals with fundamental Christian values gone wrong. Here’s the official Sundance film description:
Ever since Clerks (co-winner of the Filmmakers Trophy at the 1994 Sundance Film Festival), Kevin Smith has been known for his sharp, subversive, comedic writing. He shifts from comedy to horror with Red State and aptly demonstrates that good writing transcends genre.
Red State begins by following three horny high-school boys who come across an online ad from an older woman looking for a gang bang. Boys being boys, they hit the road to satisfy their libidinal urges. But what begins as a fantasy takes a dark turn as they come face-to-face with a terrifying “holy” force with a fatal agenda.
Instead of relying on archetypes and predictable formulas, Smith meticulously fashions all-too-real characters, utilizing exceptional performances (notably by Michael Parks) and an intelligent script. His realistic style gives the film an intimate feeling, heightening the terror to biblical proportions. Red State is a shocking new kind of horror film that aggressively confronts higher powers and extreme doctrines with a vengeance.
This teaser — along with testimonials that have popped up on Twitter from those folks who have seen the completed movie including Richard Kelly and Neil Gaiman — has certainly piqued my interest
There are a few things that instantly jump out to me about the movie. I like the fact that it looks a little rough around the edges and the short bits of film we see in the montage have a kinetic energy to them. I hope the lack of a steadycam doesn’t get too overwhelming, though. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found myself having a harder and harder time not getting nauseous during shaky-cam films. With the rapid cut montage in the teaser, it’s hard to get a feel for the film’s visual tone. One thing that is obvious, though, is that this movie doesn’t look like anything Smith has done before.
The second thing that pops out about this trailer is the absence of a View Askew Productions label at the beginning of the trailer. Smith has said that this film represents a new stage of his career. Does this also mean that he’s dropping the production studio he’s previously used and is instead adopting the new “A Smod’n Cast Production,” as seen in the beginning of the teaser above? Smodcast, a podcast network that includes multiple shows from Smith and his friends, has been Smith’s most active new venture in the last year. This new name does not really surprise me.
Either way, Red State is officially on my radar in a big way. Let’s hope this film’s release rejuvenates Smith and prompts him to reconsider his recent announcement that he’s ready to retire after his next movie.
Tags: clerks, Kevin Smith, Michael Parks, Neil Gaiman, Red State, Sundance Film Festival