Holy SHIT does this suck.
This one is gonna be quick, because I don't like to review films I didn't see in theaters and it's not technically IN theaters yet (it's On-Demand) but I feel the need to review it anyway, if only to keep some of you from seeing it.
Who here knows, or cares, that once respected director Kevin Smith has been on a long slow downslide into shittiness ever since his masterpiece Dogma? No one? Didn't think so. he didn't have his 4 hour, 2 part film about a guy who starts hockey fights to protect the more important players coming out soon (no really, it's called Hit Somebody) I'd say Red State would be the nadir (excepting possibly Cop Out, but I haven't seen Cop Out and never will). Red State is, technically a horror film about a Fred Phelps (look him up) style Preacher, and while there's probably a solid premise in that, it's so heavily mishandled it looks like a student film. And not even a C Student at that.
The script is overly talkative, even by Kevin Smith standards and feels overwritten, again even by Kevin Smith standards. The direction is overdone and incompetent, but at least stylish and interesting (in many ways the only interesting aspect of the film, aside from the premise, is the visual style). But it's also completely wasted as it's not the LEAST bit scary or engaging. And that's not even mentioning the fact that at the halfway point it careens into a laughably terrible attempt at an action movie, and the shift in tone is so intensely jarring that it'd be impossible for a good movie to recover, ESPECIALLY since it seems to switch sides about who we should be rooting for.
The acting is mostly bad, save for John Goodman in a fairly basic version of his Big Lebowski personality, with nearly 0 interest, and Michael Parks intense performance as the insane preacher. Melissa Leo's character is crying out for some subtle acting to accentuate Parks' insanity, but decides to overact and sucks her entire character, and a good amount of the movie, with her. No one else is even worth mentioning, as they're all essentially playing stock characters.
Lacking any menace, scares, depth or excitement, all it can do is lumber slowly and incompetently towards it's inhumanly stupid ending. What a shame. With a better director and a solid script editor you probably could have had a great film on your hands, but the same could probably be said of The Room. Skip it.
Elessar is a 21 year old Alaskan born cinephile and he's trying to remember enough of Jersey Girl to decide if it's worse than this.