Indie hotshot Jeremy Saulnier’s previous film, Blue Ruin, had all the hallmarks that made it a potential classic of the revenge genre, his latest film, Green Room, also has the hallmarks to be classic of the siege genre in the sane vain as John Carpenter's Assault On Precinct 13.
Punk Rock band The Ain't Rights are a little bit down on their luck and down on money thus when an opportunity presents itself they can’t refuse the gig even though it’s at a dive populated by Neo-Nazis. After antagonising the Nazi punks with a song called Nazi Punks Fuck Off they arrive back in their dressing room and witness a young girl with a knife in her head. Shit properly kicks off and they seek to escape, but are locked in a room with a load of angry, Neo-Nazis waiting outside the room ready to bash their skulls in.
Green Room harks back to the thrillers of the 1970s, such as Straw Dogs and The Last House on the Left, where everyday people were forced to use extreme violence to protect themselves against those that society deems savages. It’s certainly a film that’s thrilling and tense in equal measure with the film’s slow opening act brilliantly driving up the tension whilst the band seek refuge from the neo-Nazi thugs whose promises of safety and law enforcement arrival are difficult to believe. Much of the violence is sudden, graphic and explosive, and without warning or mercy, horror hounds and gore fans will find much to enjoy.
The band members could have done with further development but they do make a likeable bunch and the chemistry they share is effective enough as each performer (such as Anton Yelchin, Alia Shawkat and Joe Cole) deliver good performances. The man who stole the show, however, was Patrick Stewart who relished the opportunity to be sinister and menacing as the bar owner, Darcy. It’s also a darkly humorous film, a threat to reveal that one of the band members was Jewish to an already angry crowd was highly amusing and the comic shtick about Desert Island Disks also generated laughs. This dark humour only adds to the appeal to genre fans who already had a lot to enjoy.