Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Green Room (2016)
DIRECTOR: Jeremy Saulnier
WRITER: Jeremy Saulnier
David W. Thompson
An indie punk band called The Ain't Rights are currently living out of their van and are just scraping by while performing small gigs across the Pacific Northwest. When given a chance to make a little extra cash by playing at a small punk club in the backwoods of Portland, they take the opportunity. The band will soon realise that they may be in way over their heads. While backstage, the group witnesses a murder and is targeted by the owner and his gang of skinheads to eliminate them as witnesses.
When Green Room first hit the film festival circuit, word of mouth was positive. I can remember reading reviews that claimed Patrick Stewart delivers his most evil role to date. The movie was said to be ultra-violent, extreme, and incredibly intense. All this positive word of mouth moved Green Room up from being a relatively unknown indie title at that time to be one of my most anticipated horror movies of that year. The film did not disappoint at all.
After seeing Green Room while I was living in London. I went to a packed out session and got to witness the brutal carnage with a very enthusiastic audience. There really is nothing more exhilarating than sitting in a dark theatre while people on screen who are fighting for survival and are being sliced to pieces with machetes and box cutters. The movie was one of my favourite cinema-going experiences that I had the utmost pleasure of witnessing in 2016.
When it comes to plot and story, I doubt Green Room will win any major awards for originality. Green Room is simplistic regarding the story. No one will walk out of this film and claim that the story breaks new ground. The story is pretty straightforward. A punk-rock band who ends up being in the wrong place at the wrong time and ends up fighting for survival. What Green Room does do right regarding the story is that the story is never once boring.
Green Room is kinda swift when getting to the horror. The movie only takes about fifteen minutes of us getting to know these characters in the band. It's enough time for character development and us to care for these characters. Once we get past the fifteen-minute mark, this is where shit hits the fan, and all hell breaks loose. It's from this point on, Green Room is an on the edge of your seat thrill ride. I found myself at times cheering for these characters and wanting to see these people make it out of this horrible situation.
This is one of the most relentless and brutal movies that I've seen in 2016. While the movie is never over the top when it comes to violence and gore, it's one of the most realistic depictions I think I've seen when it comes to gore. There are a few scenes in Green Room that had the audience looking away in shock and disgust. Even I winced at a few of the gorier moments. The movie contains a few nasty scenes that involve a box cutter that rival the tongue splitting scene from the Evil Dead remake. Want some realistic gore? You won't be disappointed.
The acting is some of the best that I've seen in a horror movie all year. The standout here is Imogen Poots. She has probably the most badass role in the film and doesn't hold back when she needs to slice someone's throat. I was cheering every time she went on the attack. Patrick Stewart as the film's villain is also fantastic. Green Room sees him at his most menacing. Anton Yelchin is also excellent. A talented actor who was taken way too soon. This will be one of the roles that people remember him in.
The supporting cast is also fantastic. I loved Alia Shawkat. Every time she ran around the club with the fire extinguisher and sprayed the bad guys was hilarious. Her scenes towards the end are some of the most heartbreaking in the entire film. Both Joe Cole and Callum Turner round out the band members and deliver great performances. We should also mention Macon Blair who has a changeup towards the end of the film that I thought was rather beautiful.
Lastly, Jeremy Saulnier has crafted a gorgeous and brutal low-budget horror movie. What can I say, the man knows how to capture both carnage and violence well. We also have some really impressive overhead shots of the backwoods of Portland that make for some stunning cinematography. While the film is mainly set in one club, I was never bored. Jeremy Saulnier uses every location to perfection. I can't wait to see what he delivers next.
DEATH TOLL: 11
BLOOD AND GORE:
- A woman is stabbed in the head.
- A skinhead is stabbed in the stomach.
- Someone's arm is sliced to pieces with a box cutter.
- A man's arm is snapped backwards.
- Someone has their stomach cut open with a box cutter.
- Throat ripped out by a dog.
- Someone is repeatedly stabbed to death.
- Someone has the side of their face blown off with a shotgun.
- A neck hacked into with a machete.
- A dog bites a woman's ankle.
- People are shot in the head, legs, neck, and stomach.
- Someone has their throat cut open with a box cutter.
- A woman is mauled to death by a dog.
- A dog is shot with a shotgun.
Green Room is one of my favourite experiences that I had in a cinema in 2016. The movie still holds up on repeated viewings. The movie is intense, while the violence is relentless and brutal, the acting is fantastic, and the film looks great for a film with a budget of five million dollars. The most significant issue that I found with Green Room was all story related. Green Room won't break new ground, but it's never once dull. A truly harrowing tale of survival.