GREEN ROOM ***** USA 2015 Dir: Jeremy Saulnier 95 mins
Small time punk band The Ain’t Rights are touring the Pacific Northwest in their clapped out van trying to “make it”. After a guy organises a gig that barely buys them lunch he promises them a show (that pays) that night at a club but warns them of a Neo Nazi presence. Turns out the whole gig is organised by skinheads.
Still, after playing and winding up the crowd they get paid and attempt to make a sharp exit. One band member forgets their phone and another goes back to retrieve it and ends up witnessing a murder. The band is then all bundled into the back room, and scene of the crime, whilst the skins call in their boss to deal with the situation. This isn’t necessarily a good outcome for the band as it stands but exacerbated by the fact that the band decides to call the police to report the murder. The boss, Darcy Bunker, played by none other then Patrick Stewart, is a well spoken but fearsome and threatening character who, with the help of his loyal followers stages a stabbing to throw the cops off and make them think that was what the original call was about. He then turns his attention back to the band and plans to make sure they will never leave the room. Director, Jeremy Saulnier, does a fantastic job of showing the band members characters before hand without taking up too much film time getting to know everyone. Shot mostly in and around the room they are shut inside, it captures their blind panic and fear when they realise what is happening and the lengths they go to just to escape and the devastation that befalls them. There is violence a plenty, be it from a machete, shotgun, killer dogs, fire extinguisher or just getting the absolute shit kicked out of you. The camera work and special effects are spot on, with everything from half severed limbs to holes blown through faces with dramatic effect. Other cast members are Anton Yelchin (Fright Night) as Pat, Imogen Poots (28 Weeks Later) as Amber and Eric Edelstein (The Hills Have Eyes 2) as Big Justin to name a few. I’ve already mentioned Patrick Stewart’s role but as we are so used to seeing him in wholesome and trusted character roles such as Capt Picard its worth mentioning him again as he does sterling job as a Nazi mentalist leader. He is incredibly chilling, you don’t see him attacking anyone and he doesn’t hog the limelight so to speak as his part is quite small in comparison but his manner really puts you on edge. Couldn’t think of a better person for the role although he wouldn’t spring instantly to my mind which is why I think the casting for this film has been thought out really well. One of my favourite things about this film is the music and the nods to some truly great Punk bands. To provoke a reaction from the crowd the band plays a cover of the Dead Kennedys “Nazi Punks Fuck Off”. They are also wearing Minor Threat and Dead Kennedys T-shirts and the cover/poster of the film is reminiscent of the iconic image of The Clash’s “London Calling” cover. I don’t want to over do it on the description of this film as it is definitely recommended that you go and see it as soon as possible, it hit the cinemas last month so don’t delay it any longer. It is gloriously gory, vigorously violent and sweet music to your ears!!
Review by Sarah Budd