Friday, May 13, 2016

Movie Review #423: "Green Room" (2016)

Movie"Green Room"
Director: Jeremy Saulnier
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes
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A punk band gets offered a gig at a club that is primarily attended by white supremacists. They are desperate for money, so they take the gig. After the show, one of the band members stumbles upon the aftermath of a murder in the green room. Now, the band may be forced to fight for their lives against a gang of skinhead Nazis trying to cover up the murder.

"Green Room" is the third film from writer and director Jeremy Saulnier. He gained some notoriety with his previous film, a gritty revenge thriller titled "Blue Ruin," which we liked, but didn't love. Much like that film, this one is very gritty, very tense, and very violent. It starts off with some moderate character building and slowly revs up the tension until shit hits the fan and all hell breaks loose. A standoff unfolds between a punk rock band and a group of Nazi skinheads after one of the band members witnesses the aftermath of a murder and attempts to call the police. If only they had listened...

This is a low budget film, but has a solid cast featuring actors like Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, Alia Shawkat, Joe Cole, Callum Turner, and Patrick Stewart, who is simply great in this. His commanding presence is scary, methodical, and calmly disturbing. Oh, and since this is a Jeremy Saulnier affair, you can bet your sweet bippy it also stars Macon Blair, who has been in every single one of his films. It has a very 70's grindhouse feel to it in the way it is shot and in its overall tone. It has a lot of edge-of-your-seat, heart pounding moments of thrills and chills. Once things get going, the tension shoots through the roof and stays there for the duration of the film, only offering a few brief moments for us to collect ourselves before the next gulp-worthy scene. There is also an excellent amount of gore for such a brief 95 minute movie. We can take a lot when it comes to watching horror and thriller movies, but there are a gaggle of visually unsettling moments here that made us literally gasp. The makeup work on the gore is impressive to say the least. Arms, limbs, and bites are frequent occurrences in "Green Room," each one more superbly done than the last in a bloody display of carnage.

In many ways, this is a very simple, slow film, but it is executed so well with so many unexpected moments that we wound up getting completely enthralled by what happens on screen, even when what's going on is very unnerving to watch. "Green Room" is not the kind of movie you watch for deep character development, but rather, for everything else unfolding around the characters. This is a freaky, twisted, brutal, macabre, claustrophobic movie, and though we do highly recommend it, it's not for those faint of heart or weak in the stomach. Films like this are some of the most scary because their scenarios are far more likely to happen than those about monsters, ghosts, or demons. Patrick Stewart and his crew are the real monsters here, people we could encounter any day on the wrong street at the wrong time, and that's what makes them so vicious. A dim, dark, seedy film which must be experienced by lovers of horror!

My Rating: 9/10
BigJ's Rating: 9/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.7/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 90%
Do we recommend this movie: ABSOLUTELY YES!!!
One year ago, we were watching: "Mad Max"

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