green room | jeremy saulnier | anton yelchin | imogen poots | alia shawkat | crime | thriller | united states | neo-nazi | nazi | joe cole | callum turner | david w. thompson | mark webber | patrick stewart | macon blair | eric edelstein | michael draper | andy copeland
Film: Green Room
Director: Jeremy Saulnier
Writer: Jeremy Saulnier
Starring: Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots and Alia Shawkat
This film is one that I believe I sought out after getting into horror movie podcasts. I wasn’t into seeing new movies at the time, but hearing people talk highly of this it went on a list of movies to see. I’m now giving it a second viewing thanks to Duncan and the Podcast Under the Stairs’ Summer Series for the 2010s. The synopsis here is a punk rock band is forced to fight for survival after witnessing a murder at a neo-Nazi skinhead bar.
We begin inside of a van. It has crashed into a cornfield, because the driver fell asleep at the wheel the night before. The band is made up of Pat (Anton Yelchin), Reece (Joe Cole), Sam (Alia Shawkat) and Tiger (Callum Turner). The last person was driving when they crashed. The engine was never turned off so they are out of gas. Pat and Sam take out a bike to ride to a nearby skating rink. We see that they are going to siphon gas so they can hit the road again.
They go a city where they are given keys to a place by Tad (David W. Thompson). He is allowing them to stay at his place while he goes to work. They drink and listen to music. Tad knocks at the door the following morning and interviews the band. He tells them about the gig he set up fell through. He was able to get them another one in town they can play. The problem is that it isn’t his normal venue, as the last show didn’t go well. They’re going to have to end their tour earlier due to this, but Tad does come up with another gig they can play. It is close by and his cousin hangs out there. There is a problem though. It is a neo-Nazi bar.
They arrive and Tad’s cousin, Daniel (Mark Webber). He is rude to the band and they don’t take his shit either. This is good to establish here. They then meet with Gabe (Macon Blair), who is helping them set-up. I think he’s the manager here. They are taken inside to the green room, where they can hang out until their sound check. Pat inside decides that they should play a song by the Dead Kennedy’s that is offensive to Nazi punks. It doesn’t go over well when they start their set.
When they’re done, they find that the headlining group has already moved into the green room and their stuff is in the hall. Big Justin (Eric Edelstein) tells them to grab their gear and he will lead them out. Sam realizes that her phone was still in the room and goes for it. Pat tells her he will get it. When he does though, he walks in on the scene of a murder.
He tries to flee and call the police, but he is stopped. Big Justin is irate that he didn’t do as he was told and Gabe takes the phone. The band is taken back into the green room while the other band heads out to play their set. The police call back and Gabe handles it. He tells them there was a stabbing and they set up another crime to cover what they did.
Big Justin pulls out a gun, locks the door and keeps the band in the room. Also in there is Amber (Imogen Poots). Her friend was the murdered woman, Emily (Taylor Tunes).
The plan doesn’t go over as the men at the bar thought. The boss shows up, Darcy (Patrick Stewart), and he’s not happy. He is called in to clean everything up. Big Justin is overtaken and his gun is now in the hands of Sam. We see that the neo-Nazis intend to murder them, all the while telling them that they are going to let them go. It becomes a fight for survival.
Now that’s where I’ll leave my recap. For a bit more info on my history with this movie, I had seen a trailer for this film when I was at the theater and I thought it looked good. I had completely forgotten about it when my sister recommended it to me as well as a couple of podcasts I like to listen to. I have to say that I’m glad I saw this. I can appreciate even more after this second viewing.
Story is the biggest thing for me with movies and this one’s draws me in. The story here is quite basic though. Pat walks in, sees a woman has been murdered and because of this, they can’t let them leave now. We have a group of people who probably have been in a fight before, but dealing with people this dangerous is new. What I like about a story like this, is we see can these people rise to the occasion or will they perish. It makes you think what you would do if you were in this time of situation. To go from that, I love that band members don’t make the best decisions, which made this more realistic to me. When Darcy is there, he’s steps ahead of them, but the band is smarter than the other neo-Nazis. I’ve recently rewatched American History X and it made me think of a line there. It feels like Darcy recruited small minded people that he can manipulate. They’re dangerous still though. The ending was satisfying way to end this as well.
What makes this work though is the acting in this film. Yelchin is someone that I was a big fan of and will normally see anything he has been in. It is sad that he passed away, because I felt that he is one of the better actors who weren’t given a lot of leading roles for some reason. I also am a big fan of Poots. She is another one that I haven’t been disappointed when I’ve seen her in things and she was solid in this film. I’m also becoming a big fan of Shawkat. The more I see her in, the more I like her. She is great for horror films, because she has a quirky sense of humor that enhances a film and her delivery is great. I also thought that the Nazis were all solid as well. I liked Stewart, because he definitely makes a great villain. He always seems to be two steps ahead of everyone and it might be his accent. I did find him a little out of place in his role, but it doesn’t ruin the film for me. The rest of his crew is also fit their roles.
The effects in this film were great. The gore had me squirm and I’m glad that most of it, if not all, was done with practical effects. It looked so real and I was impressed. I like that they didn’t go over the top with it either so it is more believable. I thought the editing of the film was good. This partially helps to hide effects when needed. The film gets into it and doesn’t really lag at any point. The feeling of dread you get even when they nothing is going on was good and they are constantly trying to find a new way out of the situation. It is quite bleak and that worked for me the moment they arrive at the bar. The sound of the film was something I liked too. Part of it they are using the band playing to mask what they are doing, then other things that are loud as well. I thought that was a good touch.
Now with that said, I would recommend seeing this film. The story isn’t too complex, but it didn’t need to be. It is a survival film of people who aren’t that much different than us and seeing what they would do in a situation like this. I thought the ending was satisfying as well. I think the film was acted well. The effects were great. When you get gore, it is pretty intense, but there’s not a lot of it so keep that in mind. The pacing of the film was good. The soundtrack definitely helps set the mood as well. I would definitely recommend this film as I was very impressed.
My Rating: 9 out of 10