In the Pacific Northwest, a punk rock band The Aint Rights are trying to make a name for themselves without the aid of social media, so they decides to play this venue in a secluded part of the area. Upon their arrival they notice that most of the people there are skinheads, so they play a song to aggravate them, and after their performance; the group stumbles upon a ghastly murder within the venue. The notorious club leader Darcy (Patrick Stewart) becomes involved and works with Gabe (Macon Blair), who is below him in command; in an effort to eliminate all evidence, including their guest.
I’m not sure how this film flew under my radar for so long, but when I saw the love that Quentin Tarantino was giving the film, I knew that I definitely had to check it out. I watched the trailer months before but essentially I forgot what the story was about, so it felt incredibly fresh when I watched the film. In all honesty if I would have know that the directer, Jeremy Saulnier, was the same guy who did Blue Ruin, that would have already had me sold. I believe that this film could have gone two ways, the extremely realistic way that it played out, or an overly gory film like Kill Bill status. While neither is a better way, I definitely preferred the way this came out. Additionally, the actions the characters took in response to the madness felt so genuine! Never once did I have to roll my eyes because they did the most absurd thing that would basically imply they are going to die. They played it smart, and when things didn’t go there way, you could really feel for them because they tried something that couldn’t have easily predicted. I won’t say who, but the death of this person was brutal, and shocking especially considering the way they were holding themselves through it all.
Green Room is easily one of the most realistic gory films that has ever been released. There are numerous scenes that had the people in the theater squirming, and even myself on a few occasions which is rare. The shotgun to the face was my favourite, and the box cutter to the gut was impressive. Though the body count begins to stack up in this film, it’s a great story of cat and mouse, and seeing the behind the scenes of Darcy, working outside the building to stage everything as if it was the band who caused all the disruption and murder.
The plot isn’t heavy or complex but it is all written well. The opening to the film is your usual introduction to the characters and placing them into the predicament that will get the ball rolling, but here it is incredibly interesting. We are introduced to Pat (Anton Yelchin, the man who plays our favourite Scottish engineer aboard the Enterprise) who becomes our central character, and with him is Sam (Alia Shawkat), Tiger (Callum Turner), and my favourite character Reece (Joe Cole). We learn about their beliefs, and how they are trying to make a name for themselves. As the film unfolds we are easily able to take those central ideas about their characters and see how they change or don’t change when the shit hits the fan. The introduction of Amber (Imogen Poots) is great as well, she’s has some of the most memorable moments. Patrick Stewart is menacing, but based on how the trailer amps up him to be, it’s a bit of a let down, but man was he cool and under control. Once again, the star of Blue Ruin, Macon Blair, absolutely slays this role as Gabe. I don’t think anybody can give a good explanation for how this soft spoken man could have been involved with this sort of group, but his behavior always has you on the edge, because you are waiting for him to show another side of himself.
I know there is more to the themes of the film, and it most definitely isn’t just a bunch of people being murdered, but personally it is just a refreshing film to watch. I loved not being able to predict the final outcome, let alone who will even survive to the end. Lastly, I loved the final line of this film, I feel like it summed how the character(s) were feeling at the end of the film.
Overall, Green Room is a brilliant film, that fully deserves all the praise it’s receiving. Saulnier and crew makes you wonder why these films aren’t being released nationwide instead of these cookie cutter films that keep getting released. Praise to A24 for consistently bringing out these intelligent films.
My Rating: ★★★★½ / ★★★★★
Dir. Jeremy Saulnier
IMDb 7.7/10 – Rotten Tomatoes 90%
“Tell somebody who gives a shit.”