Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Sean Kelly

Review: Green Room

A punk band finds themselves trapped in a club run by neo-Nazis in Green Room. Pat (Anton Yelchin), Sam (Alia Shawkat), Reece (Joe Cole), and Tiger (Callum Turner) are members of punk band, who find themselves strapped for cash after a not-so-great gig. To make up for the bad booking, local radio host Tad sets up a high paying gig for a band at a club near Portland, Oregon, with the catch being that the club is primarily occupied by skinheads.

After their performance, the band stumbles upon a murder scene and find themselves locked in the club's green room, along with fellow witness Amber (Imogen Poots), with the club's owner Darcy Banker (Patrick Stewart) arriving to clean up the mess.

Filmmaker Jeremy Saulnier follows up his breakthrough 2013 hit Blue Ruin with this tense stand-off set in a neo-Nazi rock club. Probably the best description of Green Room is that it is a true life horror film that features evil men as the villains, instead of some sort of monster. The central punk band of the film literally find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time and the situation they find themselves in quickly goes from bad to worse.

The majority of the plot takes place in the titular green room, as the band has tense conversations with Darcy through the door. Patrick Stewart is perfectly cast as a villain with a calm demeanor, yet sinister intentions. This is only the second time I can remember seeing Stewart in an antagonistic role, with him also having played the villain in the 1997 thriller Conspiracy Theory.

Green Room features some quite brutal violence, with there being some graphic deaths committed with everything from boxcutters to machetes. While it is a bit easy to figure out which of the band members will survive this ordeal, all of them are generally likable and it is not at all enjoyable when they bite the dust one by one.  For all the horrific content in Green Room, the film is quite artful at times, particularly in the first act before things head south. It is probably not a coincidence that the film has a very green colour motif, ranging from the lighting inside the club to the surrounding forests.

If there is a criticism I have to make towards Green Room, is that the film doesn't quite nail the ending, with the film coming off as a bit anti-climatic after all the tension that has come before. However, I will still say that I enjoyed the film, even though Green Room's level of brutality is probably not for everyone.

8 / 10 stars

Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described ├╝ber-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).