Review by Lauryn Angel
Jeremy Saulniers Green Room is not messing around. Although it begins with a humorous tone, the film gets down to the business of gritty brutality.
The heroes of the film are a punk band called the Aint Rights. The band is on tour, and when we first meet them, they are all passed out in their van including the driver and stranded in a corn field. We learn that although they may be our protagonists, they arent above breaking the law; when theyre short on funds, they siphon gasoline from vehicles in crowded parking lots. The band is made up of Tiger (Callum Turner) on vocals, Pat (Anton Yelchin) on bass, Sam (Alia Shawkat) on guitar, and Reece (Joe Cole) on drums. The band is so desperate for gigs that they play Mexican restaurants for the lunch crowd and agree to take a gig at a known skinhead club outside of Portland, Oregon.
And this is really the first mistake of many. The band doesnt endear themselves to the clubs clientele with their cover of the Dead Kennedys Nazi Punks Fk Off, but they could have made it out okay if not for witnessing the murder of a young woman. From there, a series of bad decisions results in the band in a standoff with the clubs owner, Darcy (Patrick Stewart) and his henchmen. As the stakes get higher and higher, the Aint Rights, along with the murder victims friend, Amber (Imogen Poots) have to work together if they want to survive.
While the film is bloody, most of the horror comes from the ruthlessness of Darcy and his gang. Patrick Stewart is the standout in the cast at one minute charming, as he tries to manipulate the young people into his trap; then next minute, hes cold, calculating, and cruel. Anton Yelchin is great as Pat, who quickly takes the lead of the band of young people who are clearly in over their heads. Rounding out the great performances ins Imogen Poots as Amber, who seems to be the weakest link when the group first barricades themselves in the green room, but reveals her killer instinct as the situation becomes more dire.
The movie is not for the faint of heart. Once the band locks themselves into the green room, the tension ratchets higher and higher until the situation is finally resolved. There are no pulled punches here, and many of the deaths are brutal and ugly. More than once I felt my heart pounding as our protagonists tried yet another escape plan. The movie is gritty and all too real, and while Im not going to rush to see it again, I will see it again. But that first viewing will haunt me for a little while before I do.
In stores Tuesday, July 12.
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Very intense. I’ll now look at skinheads a little differently. Seeing as how I live in a town next to some