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Sundance ’11: Meet ‘Red State’ Star Melissa Leo as “Sarah”

Kevin Smith continues to unload character posters from his forthcoming Red State to sites willing to donate to charity, this time $1,000 to Eliza Dushku’s THARCE-Gulu cause. Dushku’s mission to help build centers for former child soldiers in Gulu, Uganda, is just a few thousand dollars shy of its $30,000 goal at press time. Per Ma’s Meatloaf, winner of the right to introduce us to Sarah, as played by Melissa Leo, “the poster itself follows suit with most of the others; creepy damaged texture, black background, and a character. She’s in [the trailer] very little – which tells me she’s up to no good in the flick. Especially with that one vacant smile she’s got. Want to meet her? Everyone, Sarah. Sarah, everyone.” In addition, inside you’ll find the Sundance Film Festival’s synopsis of the political horror also starring Kyle Gallner, Melissa Leo, Dermot Mulroney, Michael Angarano, Steven Root, Michael Parks and John Goodman.
Ever since Clerks (cowinner of the Filmmakers Trophy at the 1994 Sundance Film Festival), Kevin Smith has been known for his sharp, subversive, comedic writing. He shifts from comedy to horror with Red State and aptly demonstrates that good writing transcends genre. Red State begins by following three horny high-school boys who come across an online ad from an older woman looking for a gang bang. Boys being boys, they hit the road to satisfy their libidinal urges. But what begins as a fantasy takes a dark turn as they come face-to-face with a terrifying “holy” force with a fatal agenda. Instead of relying on archetypes and predictable formulas, Smith meticulously fashions all-too-real characters, utilizing exceptional performances (notably by Michael Parks) and an intelligent script. His realistic style gives the film an intimate feeling, heightening the terror to biblical proportions. Red State is a shocking new kind of horror film that aggressively confronts higher powers and extreme doctrines with a vengeance.

Red State Kevin Smith



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