Green Room (2016)
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Critic Reviews for Green Room
Scrape off the scum, and you'll find Green Room full of visual artistry, dark humor, smart writing, and glints of humanity.
It takes a while for the solid premise to unravel...and for the better portion of its running time Green Room functions as a highly effective thriller.
It's a delightfully cruel work of high tension, perfect in just how quickly and easily it gets under your skin.
[Saulnier] has a gift for creating nail-biting tension and gets superb performances from his cast, but storywise he paints himself into a corner from which he can't escape.
It doesn't take a big budget and loads of special effects to create a genuinely scary movie. It just takes - as writer/director Jeremy Saulnier ably demonstrates in Green Room - an intriguing premise, a taut, sinewy script and a solid cast.
Audience Reviews for Green Room
Churlishly defiant of logic. Those who think there just aren't enough films about intelligent skinheads and neo-Nazis with poorly masked British accents may find "The Green Room" enthralling. For the rest of us, it's just m'eh.
After his little seen debut Murder Party in 2007, Jeremy Saulnier's second film Blue Ruin took the film circuit by storm in 2013 and turned out to be one of the biggest surprises of the year. It was a taught and very well constructed low-budget thriller that reached many people's list of favourites (myself included). As is always the case, though, it brought much anticipation for his third feature. And deservedly so. The pressure was always on but by sticking to a winning formula, Saulnier again delivers a film that has much to recommend it. Punk band, The Ain't Rights, get a last minute booking in a Neo-Nazi club deep in the backwoods of Oregon. What seems like a standard gig soon turns into something very dangerous when they witness a murder backstage. They take refuge in the Green Room, and finds themselves planning and negotiating with the club's ruthless owner (Patrick Stewart) to ensure they walk out alive. As if there wasn't enough attention surrounding what Saulnier would deliver next, this film also had some added publicity with leading actor Anton Yelchin - who died in a freak accident just after the film's release. This adds a bittersweet feeling when watching him onscreen. His death was sad news but Green Room is a wonderful reminder of his talents. What works best with Saulnier's structure, though, is that no one really takes centre stage. This is a siege film that benefits from not knowing which character will perish next and with films of this type, that always adds an extra layer of tension. With the help of Sean Porter's gritty cinematography, Saulnier seems to build tension with ease by using a similar authenticity that Blue Ruin benefited greatly from. His characters feel genuine and he draws out some great performances. Much has been said about Yelchin or an imposing, cast-against-type, Patrick Stewart but it's Blue Ruin's leading man Macon Blair that shines most. Blair is given less screen time here but he's afforded a character who's motivations change throughout the film and his subtlety and three-dimensional approach to the role is very impressive indeed. However, as the film went on I found it harder to invest in. Plot holes gradually crept in and credulity wained in the final third with a relayed paintball experience becoming integral to a particular character's motivations which I found tenuous and a desperate attempt to dig itself out a hole. Some may disagree and have less of a problem with this but it felt jarring an unsatisfactory to me. Normally, this wouldn't be an issue had the film not set itself up so well but it's solid premise and excellent early delivery almost draws attention to it's flaws later on. I admire Saulnier's chutzpah but, despite his flawless direction, his story eventually runs out of steam. That aside, Green Room still has plenty to offer. It may sound like I'm criticising but I'm merely pointing out problems that prevented it from becoming as astute and tightly wound as Saulnier's previous output. To be fair to him, though, that's a very hard act to follow. What it lacks in depth it makes up for in well staged tension. Green Room ain't no Blue Ruin but regardless of how you mix your colours, this is still an interesting and impressively handled thriller. Mark Walker
What exactly is the difference between punk rockers and white supremacists? This film enlightens as it delivers razor sharp thrills when some innocents wander into a murder scene in Oregon, and find leaving said scenario easier said than done. Zeer gud!
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