Jeremy Saulnier, the director of the critically acclaimed Blue Ruin (2013), is back with a new thriller: Green Room.
Witnesses to a murder, the members of a punk band are trapped in a music venue, property of a Neo-Nazi, and fall under repeated attack by a group of skinheads.
In Green Room the behind closed doors thematic gets the punk-horror treatment. After a slow start, the usual gory stuff, cherish by fans of such enterprises, takes over and the set up is filled with the kind of content that calls for cult material, notably the casting of Patrick Stewart as the evil club owner leading the fascist bunch. He is good in here, but the leads by Anton Yelchin and Alia Shawkat are clearly not venturing into Oscar country. Victims of various severe injuries through the process, their characters seem to endure suffering quite easily. Too easily.
Sean Porter’s camera work is refined, but the editing is sloppy and thus fails to get all the possibilities of increasing tension that lies within the material. Dramatically, there is nothing new under the sun in Green Room. It is commonplace. Which raises the question: did we really need the boring overlong murder plot? Just a punk band doing a cover of the song Nazi Punks Fuck Off (and they do) is enough in that kind of scene to start a violent brawl with intentions of murder.
Entertaining at times, Green Room simply doesn’t fulfill all of its promises. The film simply relies too much on makeup effects and gore (some will be pleased, some will be disgusted) and fails to be really scary or tense.