Running Time: 95 Minutes
Director: Jeremy Saulnier
Starring: Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, Joe Cole, Alia Shawkat, Callum Turner, Macon Blair, Patrick Stewart, Eric Edelstein, David W. Thompson, Mark Webber
Plot: A struggling punk band books a gig at a sketchy club full of white supremacists. While on their way out, they accidentally witness the scene of a murder. Now, trapped backstage in the Green Room they must find a way to survive an onslaught of murderous skinheads and escape.
Review: This movie is fucking relentless. I’m not going to lie to you, there’s a lot of dark shit going on in this one. Green Room is the most excited I’ve been to see a horror movie in a while. I’d never seen any of Saulnier’s other films, but I’m a big fan of Yelchin and Patrick Stewart, and have liked what few things I’ve seen Poots in. I usually gravitate to horror films of the “campy slasher” (pun intended) variety, but I do branch out on occasion. This movie is decidedly less fun than campy slashers.
Green Room is the most relentlessly tense movie I’ve seen since the remake of Funny Games. I mean, Jesus, it’s basically a home-invasion movie, but the invaders are the ones that live there, which gives them a pretty unfair upper hand if you ask me. The gore in it is probably as gruesome as the gore in the Evil Dead remake too, so congratulations to the FX department for making me want to look at things other than the screen while I was watching. Now, the gore wasn’t as gratuitous as it could have been. It looked nasty and realistic, but the shots didn’t really linger on it for very long, a fact which I appreciated as it let me finish the dessert I ordered without feeling sick (I hate a movie that makes you choose between movies and cake; there’s a place for both in my life). So yeah, good effects in a way that made me want to curl up into the fetal position, but sensibly applied in a way that allowed me to make it through the picture.
The acting was really great all around. They had a good cast that really sold the unspeakably terrible things that were being portrayed. The plot was pretty well thought out, and the bad guys were easy to dislike, what with being murderous skinheads trying to kill our protagonists. Their motivation for what they were doing was believable too, which made everything that much more unsettling. One thing I didn’t like was their use of Pit bulls to maim and kill. I only really had a problem with that because I like the breed and they have a bad reputation already, partially because of how they are portrayed as savage, human-killing beasts from hell. I’d have used German Shepherds if it were my call, because there’s less of a stigma. My only other complaint was that, after listening to Anton’s band play terrible punk music at the beginning of the movie, one can’t help but think that maybe they deserved to get butchered in a dive bar out in the woods. All of that aside, they did an excellent job in this movie.
Not to be misunderstood, this is not a fun movie to watch. I don’t think I can stress that enough. It is, however, scary as hell. It’s the most affected I’ve felt leaving a movie in quite some time. It takes a little while to process, and I found myself thinking about it off and on for most of the next day. I think it might have actually given me PTSD… I’m sure I’ll be fine. If you like being scared shitless and watching a talented cast convincingly act like they are being horrifically murdered while trapped in an impossible situation…then yeah, Green Room should do the trick.