Thursday, September 1, 2016

Film Review: Green Room (2015)

Green Room (Review)
United States/2015
Format Viewed For Review: VUDU
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

" unnerving, gut-wrenching experience..."

A punk rock band finds themselves in the crosshairs of neo-Nazi skinheads after witnessing a crime at a remote club.

Green Room follows a punk rock band called The Ain't Rights, which consists of Pat (Anton Yelchin), Sam, Reece, and Tiger. This group travels to a remote club in the woods to perform for a crowd of neo-Nazi skinheads. Of course, they make plenty of stupid decisions from the beginning. For example, they cover a song that will obviously offend their audience, which probably isn't bright considering their remote location. Anyway, everything is set in motion because Sam forgets her phone in the green room and Pat walks in on a murder. So, the band is locked in the green room while the racists, who are led by Darcy (Patrick Stewart), plan on killing them. It's a fairly simple fight for survival, but it is very effective. The ending doesn't really pack a punch, but it was okay – it wasn't bad, at least.

Green Room is a great thriller, but it has its fair share of flaws, so let me plow through them. One: the characters are interesting, but they don't leave an impression. On top of being fairly forgettable, some of these characters were a bit too 'edgy' for me. Seriously, though, the 'edgy' indie characters have to stop – enough is enough. I'm tired of all the spunk! (You know what type of spunk I'm talking about...) Two: the film is overly reliant on its stupid characters/plot contrivances. It's just too reliant on convenience. I get it, I'm supposed to suspend disbelief, but it's hard to believe there are so many clumsy/forgetful characters out there.

Green Room is a great thriller, though, and I'm getting to that. This is an unnerving, gut-wrenching experience due to its graphic depictions of violence and its suspense. This isn't a film that's solely reliant on a shock factor. No, this thriller takes its time to develop a strong sense of dread in its atmosphere. It's a film that can keep you on the edge of your seat through dialogue and action. There aren't a lot of films that can do that these days. I was also a fan of the isolated environment. The antagonists were certainly interesting, too. The plot may have a few shortcomings, but it doesn't completely spoil the experience.

Anton Yelchin delivers a great performance as the leading man. Patrick Stewart is also great – he has that villainous aura to him. I didn't have any complaints for the supporting cast, either. The film was shot well and the music was good. I'm not a fan of punk rock, but none of it bothered me. The original soundtrack was good, too. This film is written and directed by Jeremy Saulnier, who also helmed Blue Ruin. Saulnier has improved – this film is not bloated with filler. That's a good thing. Hell, it's great. However, Saulnier is still using plot contrivances as a crutch. I'm not saying plot devices are the end of the world, some are obviously tolerable, but they are far too frequent in his films. His direction is superb, his writing needs some work.

Overall, Green Room is a great film. I know I bashed it quite a bit, but I truly enjoyed my time with it. This is an experience. It's a violent and suspenseful thriller that will leave an impression. It may fumble with its plot, its characters might not deliver, but the atmosphere and suspense never let you go. It's worth watching for fans of the genre.

Score: 7/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and blood.

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