Dir. Jeremy Saulnier
Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)
“We're not keeping you here, you're just staying.”
Prepare for a heavy duty dose of menace and bloodshed as Jeremy ‘Blue Ruin’ Saulnier unleashes potentially the best horror / thriller of the year. This is a full blooded, 18 rated, primal scream of the highest order.
"guns and bands"
Meet ‘The Ain’t Rights’ – a standard U.S. 4 piece punk band who are struggling to make ends meet, due in part to their reluctance to embrace social media. Pat (Anton ‘Star Trek’ Yelchin) is lead guitar, plus there are bassist Sam (Alia Shawkat), drummer Reece (Joe Cole) and Tiger (Callum Turner) on vocals – none of them are particularly happy when they take a gig at an isolated backwoods club run by neo-nazi skinheads. Turns out they’re right to be worried…
Things go very bad, very quickly after their set on stage sees them witnessing a murder and suddenly find themselves fighting for their lives as the devious club owner Darcy Banker (Patrick Stewart) orders his men to ensure none of the band escape alive.
The cinematography is excellent throughout, with a tangible dread built up effectively through the kind of voodoo sense of threat which echoes Assault on Precinct 13 mixed with the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
"get away any way you can"
Speaking of massacres, Green Room really doesn’t hold back with the body count or violent carnage. By making the bad guys unredeemable fascists it means that viewers are able to get behind the desperate actions the heroes have to go to in order to try and survive. It’s certainly not for the faint of heart though as the savagery on offer includes attack dogs, machetes, guns, knives and even fire extinguishers!?
The cast are convincing and goods value – pick of the bunch is probably plucky hostage Amber (Imogen ‘Need for Speed’ Poots), who inspires a climactic situation that will stay with you for some time after the credits roll. The Nazis are suitably nasty too, even the slightly reluctant Gabe (Macon Blair – who is a long term collaborator with Saulnier) has to fall in line with the execution plans.
"Fight to the finish"
Director Saulnier is definitely one to watch – after Blue Ruin and Green Room, will be interesting to see if his next film has a colour in the title, and on the showing here it is likely to be blood red.
Those looking for a jolt of hair raising violent excitement, Green Room is a brutal, brilliant and thrilling descent into hell.
Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:
(4 - Grim but good)...
Awesomeness öööö – The tension builds to harrowing levels
Laughs öö – Some dark humour
Horror ööööö – Very strong violence and gruesome death
Spiritual Enlightenment öö – survival at what cost?