Saturday, March 12, 2011

Seeing Red

I don’t often review movie’s I’ve seen in a theater – mainly because I hardly go to a theater anymore. There aren’t many movies I care to see on a big screen while sitting crowded in a tiny chair with a lot of inconsiderate douche-nozzles (that’s right Mr/Mrs I-have-to-text/tweet/talk-on-cell-phone-at-all-times, I’m talking about you). I prefer to wait until DVD where I can watch them at home where the only annoying jackass talking through it will be me.

Cut to yesterday at Clowe’s Memorial Hall at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana at around 8:00. There I was crammed into a tiny damn seat in a room with no air circulation (this is a larger problem when there is a lot of body mass in a room, and I mean a lot of people.) preparing to watch Red State, the newest movie from my favorite writer/director, Kevin Smith.

Familiar with his work? Throw all of those notions the hell out the window because Red State in vastly different from anything he has ever done. First off, it is a horror movie. I agree with this classification while others online bicker about it. True, there is no real hero, or slasher, or definitive victory but it is still unsettling, uncomfortable, and down right terrifying.

Horror purists my decry this film and demand it be put into some lame category like “psychological thriller” or some such B.S. They look for the typical and the cliché when it comes to “real horror movies.” What they fail to realize is that in Red State the conventional aspects of horror movies have been turned on their head, and in some cases shot in the face. Let’s run down the list of what a horror movie should include: Sex crazed teens (check), creepy family of psychopaths (check) – everything else is just variation on that. Without spoiling the movie, because I do NOT want to do that, here is what is different about the flick.

First, there is no clear cut hero. Usually when you watch a horror movie (especially lately) you can pick out who will live and who will die within the first 10 minutes, maybe less. Forget all that nonsense. Second, there is no music telling you what is going to happen. No score in the background at all. That makes for one unsettling 90 minutes. Music cues tell us when to relax and when to tense up for a scare. None of that either.
Lastly, the movie allows the audience to form multiple opinions on characters. One second a character is deplorable, the next somewhat likeable, and so on. People are like that. We constantly have to assess our impressions of people we meet. Someone that we might click with at first may eventually become the bane of our existence. So, the characters are realistic in that way.

The ending I loved. It might not set well with others, but remember this is Kevin Smith. What the ending does is changes the focus from one character to another, thereby showing how insignificant that other character really was / is.

I’m going to stop now before me inadvertently spoil something. If you want spoilers, you can find them all over the internet, but not here. Instead go see the movie when it hits theaters in October.

Last Quote: Easy A

Today's Quote: "I fear God. You better believe I fear God."

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