A punk band called The Ain’t Rights runs afoul of a sadistic club owner after witnessing the aftermath of a grisly murder. The bandmates become trapped in the venue’s green room and what follows is an all out battle for their survival.
Green Room stars Patrick Stewart, Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, Alia Shawkat, Joe Cole, Callum Turner, Mark Webber, Eric Edelstein, Macon Blair, and Kai Lennox. And Jeremy Saulnier (Blue Ruin) is at the helm. You can check out our exclusive interview with Anton Yelchin and Saulnier right here!
There has already been a ton of positive buzz about Green Room, with most critics finding a lot to love about this horrifying tale of survival. And I have to go with the majority on this one: I loved it. The concept is fresh and original and the idea of pitting the main characters against a very real, very sinister villain that is completely human and not remotely supernatural in nature was a brave move that paid off in spades. Almost everything hitting theaters (and VOD) now seems to be attempting to recapture the success of Insidious, The Conjuring, or Sinister. Yet Saulnier has chosen to present a story that is horrifying because there are actually people like the nefarious club owner Darcy (Patrick Stewart). White supremacy is a very true and very frightening reality that lends itself perfectly to a horror film. No imaginary monster could ever be scarier than the hate that lives within the human mind.
In addition to the frightful premise, the picture also has ample scares of all other varieties. There is a smart blend of jump scares and legit scares on display here. The Ain’t Rights are visibly terrified and I felt like I was right there with them. I felt like my life was in danger, yet I was sitting in a cineplex the first time I saw this and on my couch the second time. And that leads me into my next point: This film has great replay value. I enjoyed it as much, if not more the second time I watched it. Even though I knew the outcome upon my second viewing, I was still just as on edge as I was the first time around.
The effects are practical in nature and they really deliver the goods. I was even grossed out (in a good way) by some of the FX work. One gag, in particular, really had me reeling. This is a loving tribute to the stalk-and-slash flicks of the 1980s but at the same time, it is very much its own thing. Saulnier shows his genre cred by paying tribute to those that have come before him but also takes the story in variety of unique and unexpected directions.
The film is smartly paced and clocks in at a breezy 95-minutes. It’s long enough to help the audience form an attachment to the members of the band but it never outstays its welcome. There is a constant sense of tension that continues to be ratcheted up from one scene to the next. Both times I watched it, I almost felt like I couldn’t breathe. And I mean that in the best way.
As for the film’s Blu-ray release, the picture and sound are good and the limited special features are insightful. The audio commentary track is informative and there is an amusing featurette that chronicles the production.
Green Room is a must see! The late Anton Yelchin is terrific in it. It is so tragic that he was taken so young. He had so much talent and would have undoubtedly gone on to do great things. Our thoughts are with his family and love ones in this tragic time. Green Room will see a Blu-ray release July 12, 2016.
WICKED RATING: [usr=9]
Director(s): Jeremy Saulnier
Writer(s): Jeremy Saulnier
Stars: Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots
Release: July 12, 2016 (DVD and Blu)
Studio/ Production Co: A24
Budget: $5 Million (Estimated)
Sub-Genre: Survival horror