Punk rock band The Ain’t Rights, travel through the Pacific Northwest until they meet a local radio host, who arranges them a gig at a remote club, which just happens to be run by Neo-Nazi skinheads. After the band’s performance in front of a hostile crowd, they quickly find themselves in a horrifying situation, having stumbled upon a murder scene – the band get held hostage in the green room.
Director Jeremy Saulnier has been at the helm of low budget indie films, such as Blue Ruin (2013), which achieved critical acclaim. Now, he has crafted the very shocking and violent horror-thriller, Green Room. For a fairly low-key production, Saulnier has managed to assemble a very strong cast. Patrick Stewart is excellent and genuinely scary as Darcy, the leader of the white supremacist group.
He gives a subdued performance, but he projects so much menace, that I actually forgot that this is the same guy that portrayed Professor Xavier in the X-Men franchise. He does make a convincing villain and it’s really unnerving to watch him and his thuggish group of skinheads, terrorise the band.
The Ain’t Rights consist of bassist Pat (Anton Yelchin), guitarist Sam (Ali Shawkat) drummer Reece (Joe Cole), and the lead singer of the band, Tiger (Callum Turner). Against their better judgement, they perform Dead Kennedy’s Nazi Punks Fuck Off, before retreating backstage where they stumble upon a corpse. In the room is the victim’s friend, Amber (Imogen Poots), who witnessed the murder, alongside club bouncers.
This is then when things start spiralling out of control, as the club bouncers refuse to let the band leave, as they contact their boss Darcy, in order to find a solution to the problem. Frustrations and tempers flare in the green room. The situation escalates, leading to a bloody showdown, where the band must either kill or be killed!
Green Room is brutal and suspenseful with many shocking moments. I have to say that this film is very violent. If you plan on watching Green Room, then be prepared for mutilated bodies and a large of amount of gore and chaos.
On the negatives: I think the film progresses way too quickly, and I didn’t find myself particularly caring for the characters, which I think is important with this type of film. But it’s still very enjoyable, although some of the violence is over-the-top. But it’s clear the intention is to shock the viewer.
Green Room is a haunting and oddly straightforward film. Although Anton Yelchin provides a solid performance, once again playing the vulnerable nice guy with an edge, Patrick Stewart steals the show. He conveys so much malice and terror with just a mere gaze. Green Room stands as an exploration of the American skinhead scene, with a horrifying and bloody twist.
Quoted: “We’re not keeping you here, you’re just staying.”
Directed and written by: Jeremy Saulnier
Stars: Patrick Stewart, Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, Joe Cole.
Run Time: 95 min