Kevin Smith trades comedy for horror in RED STATE

The recently released trailer for Kevin Smith’s new film, RED STATE, which will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival next month, does more to evoke a mood than to reveal the plot. But it does make one thing perfectly clear: The film is a definite departure for the writer-director who made his reputation bringing to the screen slacker comedies like CLERKS and MALLRATS.

John Goodman, Dermot Mulroney, Michael Angarano and Michael Parks co-star in Smith’s first horror film, which finds inspiration in the insanely vitriolic ant-gay Kansas pastor Fred Phelps, of Westboro Baptist Church fame. Smith surely doesn’t have to go far to find the creepy and disturbing in that brand of religious extremism.

“To me … the notion of using a Phelps-like character as a villain, as horrifying and scary as that guy can be, there’s even something more insidious than him that lurks out there in as much as a public or a government that allows it and that’s the other thing that I’m trying to examine in a big, big way,” Smith said in an interview about the film some time ago with

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