Release date: 13th May 2016/Watch the trailer here
Green Room is certainly not for the faint-hearted or the queasy-stomached. Beginning as a slow-burn thriller and gradually descending into a blood bath, it follows a punk rock band – The Ain’t Rights – who stumble onto a murder scene after playing a show at a bar frequented by a far-right audience. Trapped in the club’s green room, with no one but the dead girl’s friend Amber (Imogen Poots) and their hostage, bouncer Big Justin (Eric Edelstein), for company, the band must figure out an escape plan as the bar’s owner, Darcy (Patrick Stewart), begins to debate how he’s going to murder his way out of the situation.
The result is a suspenseful indie genre film that flips the slasher movie rulebook upside-down. Our heroes are far from trained killers: they’re a group of kids who have found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time, leaving them having to fight off a group of neo-Nazi thugs armed with little more than a box cutter. There are more moments of shock-gore than you can count on one hand, but the order and the gruesome ways in which characters are killed off is never predictable or expected.
Although far from an in-depth look at the neo-Nazi scene in America, Green Room still has more depth than you would expect, with characters that become more likeable and multi-layered as the film progresses. The dialogue is clever – and at times, blackly comical – juxtaposing effectively with the suspense and terror at the film’s centre. Director Jeremy Saulnier deserves credit for taking a well-trodden genre and packing it full of surprises that are simultaneously wince- and laugh-inducing. Green Room has all of the ingredients to end up as a sure-fire cult hit – but if not, there’s still much enjoyment to be had from watching Patrick Stewart play pure evil for once.