Green Room (2016), Dir. Jeremy Saulnier

Green Room (2016), Dir. Jeremy Saulnier
We’re not keeping you here, you’re just staying.
— Gabe, Green Room (2016)

Stars: Anton Yelchin, Patrick Stewart, Alia Shawkat, Imogen Poots, Mark Webber, Joe Cole, Macon Blair, Callum Turner, David W. Thompson, Eric Edelstein, Brent Werzner, Taylor Tunes, Kai Lennox.
Director: Jeremy Saulnier
Screenplay: Jeremy Saulnier

For some reason I had in my head that this was going to be a monster movie; that one by one this punk rock band would be taken down by a supernatural being as they were trapped inside a green room. Boy was I wrong but I am glad about being wrong because I had no idea where this film was going.

The film follows a punk band called Ain't Rights as they are on a tour that is bringing them small gigs that doesn't even fill their van's gas tank. After a gig that this radio guy was supposed to set up for them falls through he desperately calls his cousin to get them on the bill for a matinee session at a neo-nazi bar in the middle of nowhere. With no other options other than driving the length of the country back home the band say yes to the gig and drive on out. Other than the unappealing crowd the gig goes off without a hitch, they are ready to grab their things and leave except Pat (Anton Yelchin) goes to grab Sam's (Alia Shawkat) phone from the green room only to see something he shouldn't have.

The pacing of this film is sublime, it never feels the need to increase the speed while it delves into its second act. It introduces characters in great detail and it allows space for them to move within the story. Patrick Stewart's character Darcy is an excellent character, he is so creepy because he always stays so calm within a situation that is getting away from him. Stewart holds such a presence on screen that usually reflects a sense of calm, and protection so to have this natural attraction to him be turned on its head is a little unsettling.

The entire ensemble are so good in this film; from the lead and dearly missed Anton Yelchin, to the rest of his band and Imogen Poots' Amber, to Stewart's henchmen. They all have a reason to be there, every character is created as an individual which makes you want to follow them further than the film allows you to. Because you are so aware of each character the gore in Green Room becomes so much more gruesome than the actual gore itself. Even if there is plenty of it to go around the injuries sustained in this film look and feel real; they have not been exaggerated which makes it so much more uncomfortable.

This film is great from the direction, to the cinematography, to the actors. Everything feels authentic and the film is beautiful. The aesthetic alone would encourage me to recommend Green Room so if you haven't yet seen it, please do.