REVIEW: Green Room

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Review by Dustin Heller

Green Room is the new thriller from writer-director Jeremy Saulnier.  This is only Saulnier’s third film; his first film was 2007’s Murder Party followed by the critically acclaimed Blue Ruin in 2013.  The film stars Anton YelchinImogen Poots, Alia Shawkat, Mark Webber, and an out-of-character and excellent Patrick StewartGreen Room had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival last year and is now rolling out in theaters in the U.S.  The movie is rated R for strong brutal graphic violence, gory images, language and some drug content.

A young punk band that’s just barely making ends meet takes a gig in a remote club in the Pacific Northwest.  Upon arrival, they come to find out that this is a Nazi skinhead club and the intensity is fierce.  The band members perform their set and as they’re getting ready to leave, one of the band members accidentally witnesses a murder.  Now everyone is scrambling and the band isn’t allowed to leave the green room until the situation is under control.  As time passes, they realize that they are all in grave danger and must figure out a way to escape before being left for dead themselves.

Green Room is an eerily realistic thrill ride from start to finish that had my heart pounding throughout.  The movie is actually being billed as a horror film which seemed odd to me, but it is actually pretty scary because it is so true to life.  The film is very gritty and dirty, and the use of death metal playing in the background gives the viewer a very uneasy feeling.

The story about punks versus skinheads is outrageous (although fairly straightforward), whereas the acting and directing really elevate the film to must-see status.  I was pretty lukewarm on Saulnier’s last film, Blue Ruin, but his writing and direction in Green Room are a massive step in the right direction.  He is definitely a big talent and someone to keep an eye on in the future.  Green Room is a very well done film that is exciting and entertaining and definitely one worth seeking out.

Grade:  A

Green Room opens in theaters on Friday, April 29

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