Green Room has much to commend it to the geek community – a nasty little thriller/horror about a touring hard-core punk band with Captain Jean-Luc Picard himself (Patrick Stewart) as a coldly violent neo-nazi.
Written and directed by Jeremy Saulnier (whose Blue Ruin was probably one of the best movies of 2013) Green Room sees down on their luck punk band the Ain’t Rights get a pick up gig at a venue deep in the woods of the Pacific North West – but this isn’t Twilight. Turns out the venue mainly specialises in neo-nazi and far-right bands much to the chagrin of the Ain’t Rights. They open their set with the crowd pleasing Nazi Punks F*** Off (a Dead Kennedy’s classic) but soon settle down and their brand of shouty punk wins the crowd over.
Things still being tense, they collect their money and make to leave before Pat (the late, lamented Anton Yelchin) goes back to the green room to collect band mate Sam’s phone. He finds the phone but also the lead singer of the headliners standing over the body of a very dead, very stabbed girl while her friend Amber (Imogen Poots) yells to call the police. He nearly does but after some violence the band find themselves locked in the green room with Amber, the dead girl and an angry security guard called Big Justin.
From there things take several turns for the worse. Patrick Stewart is chilling as Darcy, the owner of the club and leader of the gang who seem to be more than just your average skinhead trouble makers. Suffice to say it is not in Darcy’s best interests for the band to get out alive and the Ain’t Rights (plus Amber) have to decide how far they are willing to go to get out of the eponymous green room.
Saulnier’s script and direction keep the action tight, and the movie has a real sense of menace. You’re never entirely sure who will make it out and whilst the movie isn’t one for straight-up gore hounds, it does break out into explicit, nasty violence every now and then. It is all the more effective for those moments coming out of the blue. Great performances all through the cast with good characterisation – you get a sense of who everyone is and what they want very easily and this informs the action well. You can see their thought processes in action without heavy exposition. This is very clever film making in a world of cookie cutter characters and action.
Green Room is one of the best movies of 2016 so far, certainly the best horror-thriller. You really should watch it, just make sure you do something nice and relaxing afterwards.
GS Rating: 4/5
GS Blogger: Bobby Diabolus