Who would win? A group of punk rock musicians or a gang of violent Nazi’s/white nationalists. Jeremy Saulnier’s, Green Room, follows a the band, the Ain’t Rights, as they play a gig at a far-right venue and come witness to a murder. What follows is a heart-pounding thriller that’ll keep you on the edge of your seats as you witness the group try and get out with their lives.
What makes the movie feel so tense is the normality of the characters. Obviously, I don’t mean the fact they’re musicians that take questionable gigs – rather, it’s because none of the characters have some unexplained skill set that’s perfect for the scenario. No one is actually a secret combat veteran or a perfect shot. Instead, the group is made up of normal human beings who are placed in a terrifying situation and have to use their collective wit to try and escape. The best part? For the most part, their actions and decisions are pretty believable.
This effect is achieved in part by great acting and dialogue choice. Pat (Anton Yelchin), Sam (Alia Shawkat), Reece (Joe Cole), and Tiger (Callum Turner) all play off each other great as band mates and their chemistry and sense familiarity helps create tension and investment in their characters. Amber, played by Imogen Poots, always feels a bit off-mysterious and strange- which helps keep the intrigue. Finally, Patrick Stewart as Darcy, the film’s villain, is incredibly sinister. You can feel the calculations and his performance really sells how meticulous his planning is. On top of the acting, a lot of the dialogue seems natural and makes sense. This helps create a sense of immersion so when the group makes a decision, it doesn’t feel like it comes out of the blue. This also helps a lot of the outcomes feel earned. between the viewer and the character on the screen.
The film is also gruesome and doesn’t shy away from more gory and bloody moments. This in combination with the darker color scheme, create a gritty and intense feeling that only amplifies the suspense as the movie goes.
Problems mainly occur more prominently in the latter half of the movie. Although most of the plot threads or character threads get developed, there are others that are just raised because? They feel almost like they should be important, but they never really go anywhere. The characters also seem like they all became less intelligent as the plot goes on so the ending doesn’t quite stick the landing.
TLDR: Green Room is a 90 minute heart pounding suspense film that has great twists and turns. The dialogue and characterization is mostly believable, and though some issues prop up in the second half of the movie, the journey is still a hell of a lot of fun.
Final Rating: 8.3/10. A great movie with some like-able and grounded characters – you should check it out if you want an adrenaline rush or want to feel more alive.
Go to Page 2 for my spoiler-full thoughts!