By Michael Kalafatis (Stoke on Trent)
A punk rock band called “The Ain’t Rights” travels through the Pacific Northwest doing live performances. The band has four members Sam, Pat, Reece and Tiger, their lives can be sum up by the lyrics of one of their songs that goes “I’m always bloke and I am alone I ask myself what have I become, I must be drunk, I must be stoned I ask myself what I have become” which shows their current situation, which is drinking, perform live shows and drive recklessly, all this happen in the first half hour of the film which manages to gives an insightful look into their lives on the road. In their last gig in Oregon that does not end well a local radio host named Tad tells them about another gig which is close to Portland, we discover that this gig will take place a bar that mostly neo-Nazi skinheads goes there. And when they accidently stubble upon a crime scene in the green room of the bar that is the point when most of the gore and horror starts for the band and for the viewers.
Most of the film takes place in the titular Green Room and in the bar but this limited space does not make the film tedious but on the contrary it gives the viewers a clearer picture of the location and the terror that our protagonists face while locked in the green room which is a very claustrophobic place. The acting is very effective and is the main thing that makes the film believable especially Anton Yelchin performance who plays a mild-mannered bass play named Pat, Imogen Poots who plays Amber who is a punk girl who is in the wrong place at the wrong time but the best performance is given by Patrick Stewart who plays Darcy the leader of the white supremacist, a type of role that we are not used to see him play, just his presence is terrifying and his acting is very subtle that is the reason he is so effective because Stewart has created a three-dimensional character that could easily exist and might exist.
From the moment the band is trapped in the green room the film does not lose its frenetic pace and is full of gore and surprises as our protagonists try to escape the neo-Nazi skinheads, even though the script is very linear and simple the direction and the acting are the main elements that transcend the film to become one of the most enjoyable thrillers of the year. Green Room is being directed by Jeremy Saulnier who in his third feature film manages to create a film that has character depths with sudden scenes of ultraviolence that will make a lot of viewers uncomfortable because of its brutal realism and gore. The soundtrack which is most of the time diegetic is also a vital component for creating a tense atmosphere as hard-core punk music can be heard playing in the bar when a violent act occurs or when our protagonists are in a difficult situation.
Verdict: With Green Room Jeremey Saulnier has created a very realistic and violent film that keeps its momentum all thought-out without a dull moment, as when the violence and the gore stops we learn more about the band or the white supremacists, and this is the right balance to keep the viewers interested as Saulnier creates a film that has style and substance in equal measures.