Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Green Room - Review

Young punk band The Ain't Rights are running on fumes literally and figuratively when they catch a break to be the opening act at a bar filled to the brim with Neo-Nazis. Everything goes normal for them, relishing in the spit, thrown beer and moshing, but things quickly turn for the worse when bassist Pat (Anton Yelchin) walks in on a murder. Barricaded in the titled space, they and secondary witness Amber (Imogen Poots) must find a way to escape the calculated viciousness of the bar's owner/Neo-Nazi ringleader Darcy (Patrick Stewart). Jeremy Saulnier hits it out of the park again, perfectly following-up his previous feature BLUE RUIN with another artfully made genre film fully charged with horrifically realistic violence and pulpy dialogue. The script treads down some of the usual plot paths of siege films but also loves to take a few routes less travel by in order to shake up the viewer. Examples include a near early exit for a protagonist, a newly discovered environment that doesn't play into the usual theatrics that come with deadly blockade dramas, and flipping one of film's big taboos in order to sadistically re-educate the thoughts of the audience. All of the actors do very admirable jobs, despite often being overshadowed by the unnerving gore, but Stewart stands firmly out as the quiet mastermind whose high intelligence causes him to easily outthink his opponents and solve problems that suddenly come into question. Though the film ends up being a solidly terrifying horror-thriller, it does falter a bit severely with a last act that feels unearned. The near-constant monotone inflictions of the traumatized heroes and the mumbly sound mixing also doesn't help matters. But those doesn't utterly prevent GREEN ROOM from being one blissful shot of punk and slaughter.


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