FILM REVIEW - GREEN ROOM
Running Length: 95 minutes
Directed by: Jeremy Saulnier
Cast: Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, Alia Shawkat, Joe Cole
Written by: Jeremy Saulnier
Cinematography: Shaun Porter
Release Date: 13th May 2016
Tense, frantic and unpredictable
The Ain’t Rights are a Seattle punk band living off their principles and starving as a result. On the last date of a disastrous tour, the young group play a midday set in a diner to four men and a disinterested dog. To make amends, the local promoter offers the band a lucrative gig at his brother’s out-of-town roadhouse. The remote Oregon bar turns out to be a meet-up spot for neo-Nazi skinheads. But with an empty gas tank, the Ain’t Rights put their misgivings and ethics aside and go ahead with the booking.
Despite opening their set with the gloriously appropriate, one-fingered salvo of a well-known Dead Kennedys protest song, the gig goes smoothly (“It’s a tight-run ship” “Yeah, except it’s a U-boat”). But as the band are preparing to leave, they witness something sinister, and find themselves under siege in a backstage room with no means of escape.
Writer/director Jeremy Saulnier’s Blue Ruin was one of the indie highlights of 2013. It was a fresh, original psychological thriller that never took the obvious route. Green Room retains this unpredictable sensibility. The modest, claustrophobic set-up is used to the fullest. With elements of slasher horror and sudden moments of gruesome violence, Saulnier keeps his audience on the back foot for the duration of the lean, taut runtime.
A young cast playing against type adds to the sense of unease – Anton Yelchin is an unlikely action hero, and Imogen Poots’ morally ambiguous skinhead makes for an improbable ally. Patrick Stewart dials it right back and is deliciously threatening as Darcy, the calm, calculating leader of the white supremacists.
Tense, frantic and unpredictable, Green Room is a riot.