Green Room – BFI LFF Review

In 2013, Jeremy Saulnier’s Blue Ruin was one of the year’s biggest independent film successes, with a revenge thriller that catapulted Saulnier as a director of interest. Green Room is his third feature but unlike his first two feature films, it features a cast of bright young things and the iconic Patrick Stewart.

Down on their luck, a young hardcore punk band, Anton Yelchin, Alia Shawkat, Joe Cole and Calum Turner, in desperate need of money, take a gig in the suburbs of Oregon to a group of Nazi punks. Making enemies after their first song, the band find themselves trapped in the green room after witnessing a murder scene. They just want to leave, but with too much too protect, venue owner and the fascists figurehead Darcy, Patrick Stewart, orchestrates several assaults in trying to kill them quietly, whilst the ill equipped band do whatever they can to survive.

Green Room carries a lot of the same motif’s as Blue Ruin, but this is a more brutal affair that will cater well for both fans of horror and black comedies. But this is a masterful intense escape thriller with plenty of twists and turns with the protagonists seriously out of their depth with antagonists more methodical and organised than blatant racist dumb hicks. Possibly one of Sauliner’s biggest feats is having a cast that would usually irritate me but leave me impressed, particularly Imogen Poots in this case and also gets what could be one of Patrick Stewart’s most memorable on-screen performances in a good while. It’s also nice to see Macon Blair, the lead role in Blue Ruin, as a prominent character in the piece, who had to fight for the role rather be awarded out of sentimentality, but merits his part without question.

Whilst Blue Ruin was a more slow burn affair, Green Room is as visceral and punchy as the hardcore punk it romanticises and only furthermore Saulnier as an Indie darling.

****

Chris

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