R | 1h 35min | Crime, Horror, Thriller
Review - Matt Mungle
*In theaters April 29th*
Synopsis: After witnessing a murder, a punk rock band is forced into a vicious fight for survival against a group of maniacal skinheads.
Review: Writer/Director Jeremy Saulnier takes the psycho thriller to a new level with GREEN ROOM. Certainly a step in the right direction for the genre and one that does not rely on cliche predictability. In fact it has elements that should be studied for anyone wanting to dip their toes in the horror market.
Pat (Anton Yelchin) and his punk rock band mates are just trying to play some shows and spread their growling message to the moshing crowds. They never expected or planned to get caught up in a nasty murder involving white supremacists and backwoods vigilante justice. Now they find themselves being held captive by a venue owner (Patrick Stewart) and his militant militia. Pat and the gang are going to have to match brutal force with brutal force if they have any hope of survival.
The backdrop of the punk rock scene and the undercurrent of angst fuel this story in ways that make it unique. Even without the mayhem it is gritty and in need of a shower. But at the same time the protagonists are likable. These aren't bad kids. They just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. So you feel for them in a way that is human because they are not simply paying the consequences of some stupid action. The bad guys are easy to hate too which lends to a no-brainer when it comes to choosing sides.
For the most part the film is set in a dark music club and even most of that in a single room. The Green Room is the place that talent hang out and relax when not performing. Every venue has them and they all serve the same purpose. Granted some are a tad cleaner or fancy. This one becomes a windowless cell and elevates the claustrophobic fear.
The creepiness is thick and oozing from every scene. Not in that jump out and grab you but rather in a depraved humanity. Plus no one is safe in this one. The rules do not apply as the script changes on a dime. It is fresh and focused which keeps the audience on their curled up toes.
Yelchin is joined by some solid supporters including Alia Shawkat and Imogen Poots. Alia fits the movie perfectly and is so realistic in the role. Poots is almost recognizable as the gritty ally. It is fun to watch her in this movie and deserves some kudos.
Green Room is rated R for strong brutal graphic violence, gory images, language and some drug content. This is an adult thriller and not for the squeamish. There are several look away moments that make your skin crawl and your stomach turn. But it is so much fun. I give it 4 out of 5 band riders. This is certainly a headliner on the blood and gore tour.