Something completely different from writer/director Kevin Smith. This time pushing aside the lure of making another comedy, here's to hoping that Cop Out made him take a step back and compose himself. With Red State he chose to go down a different path: Thriller.... No wait, Horror. Not, wait, Drama.... Ummm... A bit of an action film actually and almost a police procedural at times. So which is it? It's a bit of all of those at times and while that is the basis of why a lot of people don't like it, I almost liked it more for those reasons.
While watching this I got a sense that Mr Smith sat down at his typewriter (I know he wouldn't have used one, but it sounds better that saying Computer) and said, "Shut up, Genres!" (yeah, I watched "SUPER" last night) while writing this film and just did what he wanted. I like that. Who says a film has to be defined by a Genre or story type? If I ever get to make a feature movie I would much prefer that the answer to the question "So what genre is it?" be a resounding "I'm not sure" then a definite clear cut answer, if it were me asking the question, not knowing what genre it is would make it even more interesting. I know this isn't the best way to go about making money at the box office and targeting your market audience but let's face it, Smith didn't make this film to be a summer box office blockbuster, he made it outside of the studio system so he could do what he wanted and have greater creative control, and I respect that.
There are a few small things about the plot that annoyed me, like
So, the few small annoyances aside, I took it for what it was, switched my mind off from over analysing and enjoyed this film quite a bit and would definitely watch it again. Kevin Smith fans might be disappointed though because they would be expecting a comedy with extremely witty dialogue. 4/5
Red State is filmed digitally - Red One camera and Canon 7D for some shots - and it shows, not in a bad or good way either, I'm a fan of all formats, I couldn't care less if a movie is shot on an iphone, I'm simply stating that it's very digital. I did notice quite a few instances where jello effect/rolling shutter were extremely prevalent - obviously on whip pans - and it surprises me that the director of photography didn't address these issues.
That said, the actual PQ is very good, especially towards the end in the outdoor shots. 4.25 - 4.5/5
P.S. I'd be very interested if someone could point me in the direction of an article or something that shows which scenes were filmed on the Canon 7D DSLR, I suspected a few of the scenes, like
AQ is very very good here also. Lots of rear channel usage, decent enough LFE when it is used and dialogue is balanced nicely. There is lot's of nice, loud demo material