Go for the concert stay for the gore
Ok so it’s no secret I am a fan of Horror films. But around summer thrillers and
horror films are slim pickings. But the folks over at A24 don’t seem to care much
about time of year, since earlier this year they released “The Witch”. That film shot
up to one of my favorite horror films of all time. Then I received the invite for the
screening Green Room staring Patrick Stewart…needless to say, I was intrigued to
see professor Xavier in a thriller. Like I do with all films, I watched the trailer, and to
be honest I was not impressed. It looked like your typical campfire bloodfest; but
was I wrong.
Green Room is not your average grindhouse film. It is a smart, funny, and downright
scary film. Director Jeremy Saulnier created a tense, expertly paced and beautifully
shot film about a stand off between smart and rebellious punk band kids and a clan
of neo-Nazi skinheads. With everything going on currently, this film is perfect for out
Pat(Anton Yelchin), Reece(Joe Cole), Sam(Alia Shawcat) and Tiger(Callum Turner)
are the members of the punk band The Ain’t Rights. All four are on a band tour of
the Pacific Northwest, which by this point has turned into a nightmare even before
their encounter with the skinheads. The group is not getting along; they have not
booked enough gigs and are broke to the point that they have to siphon gas from
parked cars for their clunker of a van. Some one books them to play a gig for $35 at
lunch at Mexican restaurant, the guy who set up the gig, feeling guilty, books a
second gig at a backwoods club but warns them that the venue is run by neo-Nazis.
At their arrival the group sees the show and are quickly escorted inside and prepped
to open up the night. Much like the dark humor of the film, the gig scene passes
quick they are quickly paid are about to leave when Pat remembers he left his cell
phone in the Green Room. He returns to find the dead body of one of two girls he
had seen earlier walking the floor during their set.
Now the welcoming club manager turns and the situations quickly escalates from
guest band to witnesses to hostages. The four lock themselves in the room and take
the club bouncer in as a hostage. Enter Darcy (Patrick Steward) club owner and
leader of the now-Nazi regime who takes control of the situation. The band
members and the dead girl’s best friend Amber (Imogen Poots) know that it is very
unlikely that they will leave alive after their attempts at negotiation fail and in turn
Pat gets his hand basically severed and the dogs of hell unleashed on them.
The true genius behind this film is the story telling and writing behind the film by
Jeremy Saulnier. It draws you so deep that at times you forget who you are rooting
for. In some scenes you are covering your eyes and upset at the gore then the
quirkiness comes and you suddenly feel guilty for laughing at such terrible pain. You
almost feel bad for the situations in both sides of that door. The film is beautifully
shot, with areal takes that reminisce of Kubrick and the scripts is filled with clever
lines. All in all Green Room is more than just an small indie film, it’s a breath of fresh
air in for a category that has been saturated with big budget blockbusters.
Who: With Patrick Stewart and Anton Yelchin. Directed by Jeremy Saulnier.
Rated: R (for strong brutal graphic violence, gory images, language and some drug
Running time: 95 minutes.
When: Opens Friday.
9 out of 10