Please note the review below may contain minor spoilers - I've done my best to keep them to a minimum.
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.
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.
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.
A blu-ray review copy of Green Room was provided by the distributor for review purposes.
- 5 Out of 5 Stars
Nail biting tension
Well written & directed
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
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.