Kevin Smith has spent almost his entire career making movies on his own terms, featuring humor that he finds funny, and often featuring the same characters and actors popping up time and time again (not least of which are his signature creations, Jay and Silent Bob).

While Smith’s next film, Red State, may have still been made on his own terms, it sees him out of his comfort zone and working in the land of horror for the first time.

There’s been a lot of talk around the web about Red State, but today we get our first official teaser trailer for the movie – courtesy of Smith’s own – to give us a taste of what Smith’s first foray into horror will be like. I have to say, the teaser does a lot to diminish the doubts I had about whether Smith could pull off a horror film.

For those who of you who don’t know, Red State centers on a group of kids who are looking for a good time but who end up encountering, “a crazed preacher who gives a whole new meaning to the term ‘extreme fundamentalism’.” It’s based on the real-life Fred Phelps, the founder of the controversial Westboro Baptist Church (click the link if you’re not familiar with them).

Now check out the creepy and unique first teaser trailer for Red State:

According to the trailer, the film will be released sometime in March next year but will get its premiere in a month’s time at the Sundance Film Festival (a perfect place for Smith to first show off his newest creation). Since we’re apparently still a few months off, this teaser does exactly what it’s supposed to do – give us a vague taste of what we can expect without giving much, if anything, away.

Whether the full film turns out to be any good or not remains to be seen, but that teaser is pretty good, in my opinion. I love the lack of music, with Michael Parks’ incomparable voice really getting under your skin as some pretty unsettling imagery jumps onto the screen.

Smith has been pretty vague with plot details for Red State thus far. Apart from that logline above and the fact that it’s based at least somewhat on the real-life Westboro Baptist Church, it’s not entirely clear what the film entails. Along with the teaser, Smith has been releasing and auctioning off (for charity) some teaser posters for the film – but again, they don’t give us much insight into the story.

I guess we’ll just have to wait for a full trailer to get a better grasp of what Red State is truly about. But for now this teaser trailer will do nicely to entice anyone who may have been indifferent up until this point.

The film stars Michael Parks, Melissa Leo, Kyle Gallner (A Nightmare on Elm Street), Stephen Root, John Goodman, Michael Angarano (The Forbidden Kingdom), Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad) and Nicholas Braun (10 Things I Hate About You).

Red State will premiere on January 23rd, 2011 at the Sundance Film Festival, with a supposed theater release to follow sometime in March, 2011. We’ll keep you posted on exactly when you can expect to see it in theaters.