A visceral punch to the gut...

Please note the review below may contain minor spoilers - I've done my best to keep them to a minimum.

After emerging into the moviegoers culture of conscience with Blue Ruin, director Jeremy Saulnier returns to our screens once again, trailing a bloodbath in his wake with his latest outing Green Room.

Awakening within the middle of a cornfield in the Pacific Northwest - coming to the tail-end of their slog of a tour, and now having fell asleep at the wheel - a band find themselves out of gas, out of money and out of options. But truthfully this is a position they clearly stumble into fairly often, as highlighted by the gas-siphoning equipment they have stored in the back of the van.

Whilst Pat (Anton Yelchin) and Sam (Alia Shawkat) offer up their semi-professional petrol-stealing services - and go in search of the unfortunate nearest parked car - band members Tiger (Callum Turner) and Reece (Joe Cole) await their return within their home away from home on wheels.

With the stolen petrol now ingested, itís time to resume this failure of a road trip, as the four-piece band take the scenic tour en-route to Oregon, basking in the beautiful views that the region's forestry provides them. Finally arriving at their destination - chatting punk rock roots and desert island bands with local and now recently made former DJ, named Tad (David W. Thompson) - things have hit a snag with a planned gig no longer on the slate.

With the ensemble now at a crossroads, and not even enough money for the gas to get home, Tad steps in and manages to get the band a last minute gig at a local watering hole. The only problem; the clientele of this upcoming performance are a little on the hardcore side, to say the least.

After having now experienced Green Room on both the big screen and multiple times in the comfort of my own home, I can safely say Green Room is easily one of the best films of 2016.

Mainly shot on location in Oregon and opening with sprawling, idyllic visages, with soaring, wide-angle aerial shots galore. Offering a sense of freedom against the backdrop of rock and roll, until Green Room slowly wraps its icy hands and wrings your neck as the film descends into cramped quarters, creating a stark contrast - almost like an entirely different film - transporting your consciousness to its last vestige of defence from the monsters at the door - within the cramped enclosure of the actual green room itself.

As you follow the trapped band within the aforementioned green room - where the majority of Green Roomís runtime takes place - youíll instantly take form as the fifth member of this hodgepodge punk-ensemble, with an increasingly twisted scenario unfurling itself before you - throwing utter chaos your way, as the shit hits the fan - and like the cast itself, itíll have you not only gripped, but youíll be cradling your brain for a possible solution to free yourself from the stifling oppression it exudes.

Green Room - Amber, Pat & Sam (Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, Patrick Stewart, Macon Blair, Callum Turner, Alia Shawkat and Joe Cole)

Part of what sells Green Room so much is the cast's performances, where we get to witness the now late Anton Yelchin portray one of his best performances of his short career - making his sudden loss all the more tragic - as the small the group - who all feel like real friends within a band - travel through a myriad of emotions from terror, dread and ultimately acceptance in a short space of time.

On the other side of the door we have a tidal wave of a shadow being kept at bay by a mere few inches of wood, as Patrick Stewart brings his domineering screen-presence, stealing every scenes heís in - and playing completely against type - as Darcy; the owner of the club our protagonists find themselves trapped within, and the leader of the white supremacist militia seeking their blood. The excellent writing at play from Jeremy Saulnier makes these antagonists feel like an actual living, breathing, seedy hive of mayhem with their own inner workings, internal conversations and politics at play, that could very well be taking up valuable oxygen and residence somewhere in the backwoods of Oregon.

As Green Room unfolds youíll be shocked at the sudden and visceral violence - that has similarities towards the oscar-winning Munich - but unlike most genre films, Green Room doesnít placate an audience with violence for violence's sake; instead itís carefully planned to leave an impactful, constant presence with the viewer, that completely raises the stakes of the film and helps make Green Room escape from its own genre-clad trappings, transcending into a fantastic film in its own right. From Murder Party nearly 7 years ago, and with his latest outing Blue Ruin in 2013, itís clear that writer and director Jeremy Saulnierís prowess as a filmmaker is escalating with each and every project, putting himself firmly on the map that any and all fans of the film medium should keep a close eye on.

Special Features

Into The Pit: Making Of Green Room - A well put together, albeit short - at roughly 10 minutes long - documentary highlighting the creation of Green Room. Offering some great insight into the casting, location and filming of the project and the difficulties of shooting against the Oregon weather.

Directorís Commentary - A coffee infused Jeremy Saulnier (writer and director) takes us through the minutiae of film making, the swiftness of getting Green Room off the ground, and highlighting his thought process whilst creating various scenes and the challenges they sometimes presented - worthy of admission price alone.

Fans of Jeremy Saulnierís previous work will feel right at home, with what feels like a natural escalation in both his filmmaking style and execution; providing a nail biting, tense, well acted thriller that aims - and succeeds - in terrorising its audience.

Whilst it may indeed be too violent for many, any fans of the medium should seek out Green Room as it delivers a truly enthralling experience that will have you gripped until those final credits roll.

A blu-ray review copy of Green Room was provided by the distributor for review purposes.

  • Review by
    David Robinson

    Twitter: @5ypher

    Posted on
    16th September 2016

  • 5 Out of 5 Stars
  • Nail biting tension

    Great performances

    Well written & directed

    Completely gripping

Film Info

Green Room Green Room
Rating: 18
Release Date: 19th September
Runtime: 1 hr 35 mins
Director: Jeremy Saulnier
Starring: Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, Patrick Stewart, Macon Blair, Alia Shawkat, Callum Turner & Joe Cole

  • Blue Ruin
  • Murder Party
  • I Spit on Your Grave

No, it contains numerous scenes of gore, violence and death.

Writer and director Jeremy Saulnier, was the lead singer of an actual punk rock band in his heyday.

Macon Blair (best friend and star of Blue Ruin) surprised Jeremy Saulnier by actually participating in the formal audition process and earning his part in Green Room.

The band (called The Ain't Rights) consisting of Anton Yelchin, Joe Cole, Alia Shawkat and Callum Turner actually played a live set during filming.