Green Room is a fresh new take on horror that surprised me with its simplicity and adrenaline fuelled plot. Centring on the ‘Ain’t Rights’, a band of young punk musicians, we watch them fight for their lives after being trapped in a backstage room by a terrifying group of Neo Nazis following the discovery of the murder of a young girl at a gig they were never meant to be at.
I loved the opening to this film, it presented some forthcomings of what was to come. Having arrived at Tad’s house (a student who offers to take in the band in return for a radio interview) in Oregon at the end of their tour, he asks each of them what their ‘desert island’ band would be. As they come forth with their answers (albeit, not honest as we later find out) they establish their punk identity and hard nut appearances. Pat (played by the late Anton Yelchin) was the only member who hesitated in his answer, which to me proved he wasn’t compulsive or rash in his decision, which he would later come to thank, affirming him as the survivor.
Facing a group of weapon brandishing Neo Nazis will always be terrifying, but dealing with Patrick Stewart as the leader of the group of weapon brandishing Neo Nazis is just so much worse. Bringing life to the role of Darcy, the club owner, Patrick Stewart relishes in the opportunity to play evil. Remaining calm and negotiable throughout, Darcy is a chilling character who has taken over from the stereotypical monster role usually preserved for the supernatural or clinically insane. Yet, as with most monsters, once they lose their power and we see them in daylight, they’re not so scary.
My favourite part of this film was obviously when Pat and Amber (another witness of the murder portrayed by Imogen Poots) escape. Having heard the end of Pat’s ‘pep talk’ about a similar experience (yet less fatal) paintballing against a group of Iraq veterans, we see their final attempt of escaping the clutches of Darcy. Deciding to take it less seriously, there are some great comedic overtones here in the most unlikely of situations.
What’s so great about this film? It’s simple. There is no complicated back story or overlying themes that take attention away from it. It’s precise, gritty, and stripped-down of conventions, unlike so many other films today. It isn’t trying to make you work anything out, or think deeply into the meaning of it, it is what it is. The characters are daring, (if not suicidal when they cover the Dead Kennedy’s ‘Nazi Punks Fuck off’ to a group of actual Nazi Punks) taking risks to escape and even take out some Nazis with them.
Director Jeremy Sauliner has created a glorious yet disturbing indie horror here with just a $5 million budget. He said in an interview with online publication site ‘Indie Wire’ that he hopes to ‘build a library of films that have a long life’, and in my eyes, I think this film will, and I hope he continues to create more films like this one that grab my attention.
This film is perfect for those new to the genre, or those who can’t handle the intensity of most horror films. Despite boasting an 18 rating, the gore is minimal yet there is an abundance of violence and suspense to keep you on your toes.