Friday, 20 May 2016

GREEN ROOM review

Starring Anton Yelchin and Alia Shawkat as members of a band who find themselves fighting for their lives against a gang of skinheads. Jeremy Saulnier's tense new thriller is out now in cinemas.


Whilst travelling across the country, rock band The Ain't Right's take a gig at a neo-nazi club. After performing their set they return to the green room and accidentally stumble upon a murder scene, setting in motion a desperate struggle to survive against incredible odds.

Director Jeremy Saulnier announced himself as one to watch a couple of years ago with Blue Ruin, a dark, tense and unpredictable revenge thriller starring his regular collaborator Macon Blair. Green Room sees him on familiar territory, although by comparison Blue Ruin is a relative stroll through the park.

Along with Yelchin, Shawkat and the other members of The Ain't Right's is Imogen Poots as a semi-catatonic witness to the murder, all innocent bystanders who have to find a way to adapt to survive against the increasing levels of threat directed towards them by Patrick Stewart's skinhead leader, Darcy. Stewart is terrifying in the role, displaying a calm, calculating general with a multitude of troops to lead; so methodical in his efforts to cover all eventualities that it's obvious he has got himself out of similar situation before. Macon Blair lends good support as Gabe, eager to earn the approval of Darcy and become part of his elite "red laces" skinhead crew.

Facing great adversity the band are easy to root for (they start their set with a fast and furious rendition of Nazi Punks Fuck Off that was designed to antagonise the audience), and as events unfurl and things take a turn for the worst it's genuinely horrifying to witness the ordeal they go through. The sudden acts of violence are extreme, gory and displayed in graphic detail. This is certainly not a film for anyone of a squeamish nature or a delicate disposition, bringing to mind the similarly nail-biting  and unpredictable Eden Lake with its approach to depicting the horrors of torturous violence.

Destined for word of mouth infamy, Green Room is a tense, often frantically paced thriller that is like diving into the melee of a mosh pit and getting knocked to the floor. It's gritty and dirty and eventually, you're going to end up near something sharp.

Verdict
5/5

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