Green Room (2016)

brooke This movie is so punk rock. It’s got a punk rock band, punk rock music, Patrick Stewart, and Nazis. Even the poster is punk rock (although it took me forever to notice the kid on the poster is holding a machete, not a guitar).
I know you didn’t really like this movie, so let’s start with your thoughts.

casey I think my problem is, I struggle with movies that are about people suffering and hurting. Maybe I’m just a big softie that way.

brooke maybe you are

casey I went into Green Room knowing nothing about its premise. The first few moments seem to hint at a whimsical indie coming-of-age story for the members of an obscure punk rock band, The Ain’t Rights, as they tour the Pacific Northwest.
That’s…not quite the case.
After a booking falls through the band reluctantly accepts a show at a remote club that turns out to be a neo-Nazi compound. After their set, they witness something they’re not meant to witness, which instigates a standoff between the terrified kids and a growing number of armed skinheads. They soon find themselves barricaded in the green room, negotiating for their lives with club owner Darcy (Patrick Stewart) and his thugs, who are torn between wanting the kids gone (read: dead), but without arousing police suspicion.

brooke Not exactly the kind of thing you expect to deal with on a punk tour.
The band’s lead guitarist, Pat (Anton Yelchin, who plays Chekov in the Star Trek reboots), gets thrust into the position of negotiator for the band, unaware that the inhabitants of the compound are two steps ahead of him.

casey And not in a good way. What ensues is a hella tense, claustrophobic and gory horror thriller. Whether you like that sort of thing…that’s up to you. I tend to like my violence more stylish, or in service of something I can pretend has a larger purpose, but Green Room got too ugly for my taste, especially in its grim middle section.
On its own terms, Green Room probably achieves everything it sets out to achieve; it’s just not my kind of movie.

brooke I agree that it’s ugly, but I think it’s effectively so. The movie aims to make you feel as trapped as The Ain’t Rights as they await their fate. Like any good punk band, they try to fight back, but their resources are limited as they learn how far Darcy and his thugs are willing to go to stop them.
Technically speaking, this movie is awesome. Every shot, every lighting accent, and every word of dialogue highlight the terror it’s going for. Director Jeremy Saulnier, knew exactly what he was doing. Bonus: Alia Shawkat, Maeby from Arrested Development, is also in the movie. Who can resist Alia Shawkat?

casey I like her better when I’m not worried that I’ll have to see her intestines ripped out by neo-Nazi attack dogs. I started to like the movie more as it moved towards the finish. But that middle section, it’s rough, man.

brooke I don’t think anyone who gets squeamish at any level of violence will like Green Room, but if you don’t mind watching a movie approximation of what happens when violent dogs and machetes hit human flesh, you should see it.


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