Green Room is without a doubt the best thriller I have seen so far this year, it is tense as soon as the ball gets rolling, the gore is absolutely brutal, the characters all have substance and it has Patrick Stewart running a neo-nazi club....bonkers!
By my own admission ‘Green Room’ probably falls into the genre of horror that I tend to enjoy the least, the helplessness of the characters, that feeling of dread throughout, it really gets under my skin and although GR is exactly that it is so well executed it gets my seal of approval.
Green Room focuses on a group of friends in a punk band, touring in a beat up van and skimping on whatever money is possible. Times are clearly hard and when the opportunity comes up to play at another ‘low-key’ but well paid venue they jump at the chance. Although given a warning about how right-wing the punters might be little did they know they would be playing at a neo-nazi club to a room packed full of skinheads.
The start to the film is a bit of a slow burner yet never boring, the character development takes the spot light and we are given the opportunity to attach to the cast which is fairly rare in horror films. My main concern when we found out the film focused on a band was that they would be the usual bunch of pretentious ‘bandies’ but they all end up having substance and their own personal character. The cast didn't grate on me one bit.
Put between a rock and a hard place the group decide to stick it out and play their set. The scene is desperate; think out in the sticks, run down venue with skin heads galore and the confederate flag proudly on display!
When the group finish their set they get back to the changing rooms only to walk in on a crime scene, a female member of another band has been fatally stabbed and lies dead on the floor. Between panic and confusion they are trapped in the room by one of the club runners until the main man can arrive to deal with the situation. ‘Darcy’ the club owner (Patrick Stewart) arrives and although a bit of ‘negotiating’ takes place it is clear to see that they are being held against their will. The remainder of the film follows the groups struggle to survive and leave the club whilst Darcy is adamant he wants to leave no trace.
Being confined to the club you would think that the film would lack in variety but that is the complete opposite from the truth, scenes are mixed between the groups desperate attempts of safety and Darcy’s cold calculated instructions on how to ‘deal’ with the situation at hand. Darcy is clearly skilled in this field of work and in a cult like fashion his disciples are willing to do anything he tells them to.
One major component of the film are the scenes of sheer brutal gore, uncomfortable, dark and at times completely savage, it is guaranteed to make you feel on edge, coupled with the superb sound work which adds yet another dimension to the tension and Green Room becomes more than just a run of the mill body count horror.
The acting is simply top grade from a fairly unknown cast, when the death toll starts rising you see the comradery between the group, there’s no ‘dog eat dog’ to be seen at all, you get the feeling that each member cares about the last. The cast do seem fully immersed in their roles bringing an uncomfortable reality to the on screen violence. Patrick Stewart plays the role of ‘head honcho’ perfectly; he has a cold blooded persona, callous, calculated and fully aware of his actions. He is calling the shots and getting his blood thirsty henchmen to carry out the dirty work.
Overall Green Room is a stunning addition to the thriller sub genre of horror, there are some truly horrific scenes of brutality and you can feel the distress that the characters are going through. It stays tense to the end aided by both its fantastic cinematography and pin point sound work. When I’m struggling to think of any down points at all I know that I have seen a solid film!