- on Thursday, 05 May 2016 09:18
- by Loron Hays
Jeremy Saulnier returns. The writer and director of the crowdfunded and critically acclaimed Blue Ruin strikes fear into moviegoers and color aficionados with Green Room, a tension-filled horror film about a punk band at the mercy of a bunch of neo-Nazis. You read that correctly, dear readers. Saulnier, who is to be applauded for his understanding of the genre and the handling of its exploitative elements, continues to reward audiences with a horror film that makes the Circle Jerks proud. Surely work with the big time boys – if that is Saulnier’s wish – cannot be too far behind.
Filmed in and around Portland, Oregon, Green Room tells the story of a hungry punk band named the Ain’t Rights and their witnessing of a murder in a very remote part of the state. Pat (Anton Yelchin), Sam (Alia Shawkat), Reece (Joe Cole), and Tiger (Callum Turner), after winning over a crowd of neo-Nazis in a dive just outside of Seaside, find themselves in a bit of a sticky situation when they stumble upon a freshly killed woman with a knife in her head and her (still living) best friend, Amber (Imogen Poots).
Calling the police is not that easy of a thing. Robbed of their phones, the band is quickly ushered into a holding area in the green room. Darcy (Patrick Stewart) will not let them leave, as they are all considered witnesses and, well, who is going to miss them anyway? Enter an unending supply of henchman with the single mission of breaking up the band … permanently.
Smarter than it has any right to be, Green Room is heavy on the practical side of gore and provides viewers a very tense night at the cinema. The neo-Nazis and their pit bulls are deliciously evil and Stewart seems to be chomping at the proverbial bit to finally play someone this maniacal. He pulls it off with an authenticity that is chilling and severe. The poor band members face an unyielding onslaught of torturous weaponry as the neo-Nazis attack and then attack again with the kind of brutal tools used for disembowelments and mutilation.
Fingers are broken, throats are ripped out, and all as the band tries to escape the four walls surrounding them. Claustrophobics be warned; we go from a tiny ass room to an underground bunker and the results are the same. Darkness. Death. And a whole lot of pain. From guns to knives, the weapons of choice for this taut thriller are never in short supply. This is life and death and the band (plus one) have chosen to fight their way out of their captures clutches and make a break toward another day.
Not a lot survive. And while the final act may disappoint some, there’s no doubt that Green Room is a thing of brutal beauty. These types of horror flicks – fully engaged and not trying to copy John Carpenter – are a rarity. Saulnier is in a league of his own here in the states and seems to emulate the UK’s own Video Nasty titles, a colloquial term characterizing a series of ultra-violent VHS horror films that began in the early 1980s.
As a result, the film will not be for everyone. It is a grisly showcase of carnage that is specific and unsettling. Yet, as unapologetic as his film is, Saulnier also offers horror fans a sharply intelligent jaunt that is aware of itself and its surroundings and, in turn, will make you think twice about each and every sound as you exit the theater on your way back to your car.
Saulnier’s Green Room is nothing to relax about.
MPAA Rating: R for strong brutal graphic violence, gory images, language and some drug content.
Runtime: 95 mins
Director: Jeremy Saulnier
Writer: Jeremy Saulnier
Cast: Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, Alia Shawkat
Genre: Horror | Thriller
Tagline: Now. Whatever you saw or did. Is no longer my concern. But let's be clear. It won't end well.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Tell somebody who gives a shit."
Official Site: http://greenroom-movie.com/#/
Release Date: July 12, 2016
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: No details available.
Synopsis: After witnessing a murder, a punk rock band is forced into a vicious fight for survival against a group of maniacal skinheads.
Available on Blu-ray - July 12, 2016
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD-25) UV digital copy; Digital copy
Region Encoding: A
Released courtesy of Lionsgate, this digitally shot film makes for a visually appealing 1080p transfer. The MPEG-4 AVC encode, presented in a 2.40:1 aspect ratio, does not disappoint. Textures are up front with a special emphasis on faces. Fine details are strong throughout, too. The colors are bold and sharp and the black levels are often on point with deep and engaging shadows. While the digital nature of the shoot can be a bit specified, the details in the close quarters never bury the action on the screen. The English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack is fully engaged and offers much lift to the picture, complete with its own hum and buzzing of the mood-lit club. No need to turn this up, though, it’s guaranteed to shake the floors and rattle the walls.
- There is a scene specific commentary provided by Writer/Director Jeremy Saulnier. He knows his stuff and his excitement (and knowledge) should not be ignored. Of special note to fans of the movie is the fact that this little film was shot rather quickly and a lot of first or second takes were used.
One would think with the unexpected passing of Anton Yelchin, Lionsgate would have spent the money on a few more supplemental items in honor of the young actor, whose career was already well-established but, from the looks of it, was only just beginning to take off (with his best stuff coming out now). Maybe the loss is too soon. This release is armed with a commentary, a 10-minute making-of with interviews from cast and crew, and a Digital HD copy from UltraViolet.
Into the Pit: Making Green Room Featurette (10 min)