Kevin Smith on Red State
Kevin Smith has been talking about his horror film that he's just written called Red State, and while it's been highly reported I just wanted to pick out a couple of points that I found of particular interest in the interview.
The two most interesting points were his comparisons of Red State with other horror films and the chance that he may be asked not to direct the film by the Weinsteins.
Red State is not a comedy, there's been a lot of speculation about what it really is but from what Kevin Smith says I think it sounds more like a thriller with horrific elements added, but using the term horrific not to describe gore and blood but more shocking than anything.
From what he says about horror he's not comfortable with Red State being coined as a horror film, which I think reflects what he himself terms as the horror genre. Lately Hollywood has been narrowing that view of horror to blood splattering gore type films, however there's a grey area of thrillers with horror that could fall either way depending on your viewpoint. I feel that the horror genre is much wider than films that feature gore and blood full on, and the thriller genre is much wider than thought provoking mystery solving.
Ultimately though it doesn't really matter, and trying to classify a film should be the furthest thing from our minds, after all it only serves to limit a film, and in the case of Red State it would be doing that before we even get to hear or read anything substantial about it. Here's what Smith has to say about it:
"I have a hard time classifying it as a 'horror flick' because, while it shares some of the genre conventions, it’s just not what most would consider a horror flick. Horrific, yes, but not a horror flick in terms of the general definition. Let’s put it this way: if 'Rosemary’s Baby' can be classified as a horror flick, then 'Red State' can be as well...
...'Requiem for a Dream' is a pretty bleak (but insanely well-made) flick. This is more bleak than that."
This is an excerpt from the interview over at /Film.
Comparing it with Rosemary's Baby and Requiem for a Dream is an interesting slant, and I have to say that it could be a dangerous one too. He's obviously confident about the script otherwise he wouldn't say something like that, it would be setting you up for a big fall. However he's not saying that the film is the same as, and the comparisons are for texture and tone.
What it does do is make the film sound incredibly interesting. What is more so is seeing how Smith turns from his comic films to this, especially directing it too, something he's not entirely sure that the Weinstein's will let him do.
"It’s one thing to hand them a script full of funny stuff with proven characters that a niche audience has enjoyed previously; it’s another thing to hand them this. Which is not to say that I fully expect them to show me the door. I just wouldn’t be shocked if Harvey and Bob were like 'We can’t go for the ride with you on this one, Kevin.'"
It seems that he's not pitched the film anywhere yet as the Weinstein Company are going to get first crack. If they say no then it seems he's quite willing to go elsewhere.
I really would like to see Smith work outside of comedy, Clerks II (Filmstalker review) showed that he has a talent for characterisation and some great dialogue, and I'd love to see that applied to something other than the safe haven of characters and comedy. Mind you, I've not actually been one huge fan of his films before Clerks II.
Are you a Smith fan and if so, are you looking forward to a horror-thriller from him?