Red State (2011)

Red State (Smith 2011)

Our podcast is inspired by the argument made by cultural scholar Robin Wood that horror films may be understood as reflective of the anxieties and fears of a particular society during a particular era. From that theory, we might expect that there would be a number of horror films based on terrorism in post 9/11 America. There are however very few, with this and Craven’s Red Eye (2005) being the only ones with any prominence. Here we take on Smith’s Red State (2011) to see how the issue is transformed to horror and what the lack of terrorism horror as a sub-genre might mean.


Red State (Smith 2011) – please watch the film before listening!

TOPIC INDEX – Red State (Smith 2011) (times are approximate) 

0:35 – Introductions
3:30 – Discussion begins
6:00 – present and challenge the best counter-argument
8:30 – realness
10:00 – terrorism horror films
13:30 – extremism
21:20 – moral inventory of the film
24:45 – sexuality
34:50 – nihilist read of the film
42:30 – eco-college commune hippies
50:00 – terrorism’s absence from horror

59:45 – Grading the film using the Collective Nightmares Evolving Rubric of Social Responsibility

Related Episodes
Dark Waters (Haynes 2019)

Related recommended films
Red Eye (Craven 2005)


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“Horror films are our collective nightmares.”

Episode 74