Synopsis: After witnessing a murder, a punk rock band is forced into a vicious fight for survival against a group of maniacal skinheads.
Green Room is one intense and shocking movie going experience. This film is written and directed by Jeremy Saulnier and stars Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots and Patrick Stewart. It’s been a while since I’ve watched a movie and I was that uncomfortable, which is not necessarily a negative strike against the movie because it seems like that’s what they were going for. It manages to create a sense of uneasiness all the way throughout the movie; it doesn’t ever let the audience breathe. Even during sequences where nothing is happening like when they’re driving but the between the cinematography and the conservative use of a soundtrack it creates a very unsettling tone.
I’m generally not a fan of horror movies but this isn’t like your traditional slasher movie or ghost story. It doesn’t rely on normal horror tropes like sudden loud sounds or jump scares instead it uses isolation, great production design, realistic effects and fantastic acting to draw the audience in to keep their tension high. The majority of the movie takes place in this skinhead bar run by a group Neo Nazis and this bar is easily the most uncomfortable place to be, not to mention it seems to be out in the middle of nowhere in the forests of Oregon. If I came across this place I would immediately just be “NOPE, NOPE!” and run the other direction. They make use of the great set design and lighting in great ways. For example there is a scene where all the band members are stuck in a room with one of the Neo Nazis and the power goes out and the screen goes completely black. Most of the time they will introduce low light so you can see the characters but in this movie it says completely black for a good several minutes while you’re left tense worrying what’s going to happen! This movie also has genuinely shocking moments where you get scared because you had no idea something was going to happen. I mean these are moments you’re completely blindsided and jerks the story in a completely different way than you’re expecting.
I will say this is a very violent and gory movie. it can be really graphic and often times unsettling. There were several moments in the movie where I was just hugging myself and cringing. This is a testament to the special effects, it was gory but I couldn’t help but think “good lord that wound looks incredibly realistic” Lastly I wanted to mention the great acting, Anton Yelchin especially is amazing he really sold all the emotions a person would experience in a situation like this convincingly. What was really impressive was at one point he gets his arm wounded and just the sheer shock and pain he conveyed was so real you felt it with him. I thought the casting of Patrick Stewart as the main antagonist of the bar owner was interesting. He was great like always but for someone so evil and sadistic he plays it so calm and almost comforting especially when you know him as Jean Luc Picard and Charles Xavier. It creates a weird dissonance when you see him do and say some pretty terrible things, which only add to the uneasiness and overall scary atmosphere.
There is one thing about this movie that bothers me that seems to affect every horror movie I’ve ever watched. The characters make some pretty dumb decisions that no rational or even irrational person would make in certain situations. Things like the decision to split up or walking out into the open without checking and clearing the room. I just shake my head and scream internally “That’s stupid don’t do that!!!”
If you’re looking for a thrilling and intense movie watching experience I would say definitely check Green Room out its beautifully shot, with great acting, tense story, and genuinely shocking scares. However not everyone’s going to want to see this it is very violent and can a little too much for some people. I know I was definitely a little worn out watching this movie even though this movie was barely over and hour and a half in run time.