Jeremy Saulnier is a director that believes it’s better to go for it than wonder what would have happened if you had. His aim is to entertain in the most visceral ways cinema will allow. After brief introductions to the main characters, this cannon explodes with inordinate amounts of bloody mayhem. Green Room is a tension-filled thriller that will shock you and make you squirm. It will feel as if you haven’t breathed for the last ninety minutes.
I have seen a lot of messed up stuff in movies and unfortunately videos of real horror online and what this has all amounted to is that I have become desensitized for the most part to scenes of carnage whether fake or sometimes real. Gore in a movie will not make me wince but unexpected, gory violence will get a rise out of me and Green Room is filled with the unexpected. It’s unexpected because it’s so sudden and feels almost too authentic. There are no kitschy moments that warn the audience that someone is about to die. No, here they just die, horribly and plentifully.
All the violence here amounts to quite a bit and it would feel excessive and pointless if it weren’t for patient filmmaking and dialogue that is brimming with innuendo and ominous undertones. Particularly when Patrick Stewart’s character is on screen and he speaks all hope leaves without any signs of return. He is the ominous calm before the storm, he is the orchestrator of madness and his presence makes him tower over everyone just from his unsettling tranquil approach to such a heinous situation. He somehow is the cause and solution to his problems and will go to great lengths to see his solutions fully realized. Patrick Stewart is a force to be reckoned with in a film that allows him to break free of anything even remotely similar to his past works. This is a new beast entirely much like the film itself.
There is a sense that nothing is going to turn out okay for these characters so in-depth character arcs are unnecessary. We get their names, what they do in life that pertains to the story and their course is set with an inevitable future however short that may be (very short, in fact).
The most tension occurs when we are inside the green room with, let’s call them the victims. It’s in this room that suddenly you become very aware of the surroundings these pour souls find themselves trapped within. There are no windows, no vents big enough to escape through and a path that leads to another room with even less hope as it’s revealed why this is all happening. To die this way is gut-wrenching and unimaginable which only lends to the overall theme of tension-filled horror. In many ways, when these characters are waiting and debating on their next move, they are more scared and frozen with inaction than when they become fed-up and decide that death is imminent and the only question remaining is simple; do you go out on your knees or on your feet with a box cutter and pure adrenaline coursing through you like a goddamn cocaine addict?
I loved this movie. It doesn’t try to be anything but what it is and that is an absolute shock to the system. Smooth camera work that never shies away from the more grotesque moments, strong performances, gracefully patient tension building scenes all lay the groundwork for a third act that is a pure, unadulterated maelstrom. If you liked Saulnier’s previous work, Blue Ruin, you will cherish this chaotic piece of masterful cinema. He has proven once again that he is someone to keep an eye on. This is an adrenaline shot injected through film. It’s simple yet far from anything that can be misconstrued as pointless or boring. This is genre filmmaking at its best. I want to see Green Room again. Right now. So gnarly…
Rated R For: strong brutal graphic violence, gory images, language and some drug content
Runtime: 94 minutes
After Credits Scene: No
Genre: Crime, Horror, Thriller
Starring: Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, Patrick Stewart, Alia Shawkat, Macon Blair
Directed By: Jeremy Saulnier
Out of 5 Nerdskulls
Story: 4.5/ Acting: 5/ Directing: 5/ Visuals: 5
OVERALL: 5 Nerdskulls
Check out the trailer below:
Here is an interview from VICE with the director, Jeremy Saulnier:
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