Directed by Jeremy Saulnier
Written by Jeremy Saulnier
Starring: Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, Alia Shawkat, Joe Cole, Callum Turner, and Patrick Stewart
“Green Room” blends two things that seem tailor-made for each other: horror-thriller and punk rock. More often than not, punk rock would be a perfect soundtrack for a horror movie. The director Jeremy Saulnier having brought these two elements together not only makes sense but gives this film a unique tone amongst all of the assembly line horror fare made on a regular basis. That is what separates “Green Room” from the rest of the movies in the genre, that it is a break from that assembly line mentality prevalent in the genre.
The big thing that separates “Green Room” from the rest of the garbage – often garbage at any rate – in the genre is the acting in the movie. Among the cast of relative unknowns is the immensely talented Sir Patrick Stewart. In “Green Room” Stewart gives a terrifying and unsettling performance as a Trump supporter, I mean the head of a neo-Nazi organization. Horror movies rarely – if ever – have actors with the gravitas that an actor like Stewart has; his resume speaks for itself. Stewarts performance is the best part of the movie. He does not appear until about 20 minutes into the movie, and when he does enter the film he has surprisingly little screen time. When Stewart does appear on screen, that is when the movie gets good.
The rest of the cast gave great performances as well; that may not sound like a rave review considering the bar for horror movie performances is not very high, but “Green Room” is a horror-thriller and leans more towards thriller. The bar for judging performances in a thriller – even a horror-thriller – is much higher than in a regular horror movie.
The only thing negative I have to say about this movie is that the why of the narrative is left vague. What you know is that Stewart and his neo-Nazi cohorts want to pin a murder of one of their own on the out-of-town punk band. Why they want to do this, however, is never revealed. Leaving that air of mystery hanging throughout the film is fine, but by the time the story ends this air needs to be clear by the end of the movie. The exact details of the murder in question do not need to be elaborated on, but why they wanted to pin this on the out-of-town band needed to be clarified. It seemed like they could have just buried the body and never would have to deal this “issue” ever again.
“Green Room” is a breath of fresh air for the horror genre, it breaks from the assembly line, has great performances, and has Capitan Jean-Luc Picard himself. See it, it just opened wide, so it should be playing at a theater close to wherever you may be located. If it is not “close” to you, go to whatever theater is closest to you.