Punk rock and hardcore music, has been apart of my life since I was a teenager. After hearing about Jeremy Saulnier’s Green Room I knew this was a movie I had to check out. Green Room is Saulniers third feature coming after his revenge film Blue Ruin. Green Room is an intense, gritty, survivalist movie, that thrashes the audience with true fear and all out war.
Centered around a young punk rock band The Ain’t Rights, who happen to also be a close group of friends, they are traveling the states in their not so perfect van. With little to no money trying to make it to their gigs in the forested lands of America is already takes quite the toll on them. Each band member has his/her own importance throughout the film and they each have certain characteristics that bring certain aspects to the band. Sam ( Alia Shawkat) is the guitarist/ manager, Pat ( Anton Yelchin) is the observational one who plays bass, Tiger( Callum Turner) the singer who is intense on stage but off is nothing but fun loving and Reece( Joe Cole) the drummer who is the aggressor and has the balls to take on anyone and anything if he feels the integrity of the band is being threatened. As the band wakes up in a cornfield after Tiger falls asleep at the wheel they realize the van has been on all night and they are out of gas.
After arriving to where they are supposed to play and like in some cases Tad( David W. Thompson) the young promoter/journalist drops the ball and books them at a random Mexican restaurant where they play for a handful people and make a whopping 6 bucks each after the cut. They are in a ruff spot and Reece wants to pummel Tad. Tad makes a phone call to his cousin Daniel (Mark Webber), to see about booking a last minute show at the venue he works for. Tad does and it leaves the band heading to the backwoods of Oregon. There are many warnings and questions asked about the types of skins that would be there and what they should and shouldn’t play. Arriving to the remote venue the band realizes they are way out of there depth with the many red laced boots and braces being worn by the skinheads standing outside the venue. This kind of group only leads to a crowd that is breed for violence. The band was reassured safety from the venues manager Gabe (Macon Blair). Since the four of them are completely against the racial standards of the neo nazi movement they decided to open their set with the confrontational song for this particular crowd Dead Kennedy’s Nazi Punks Fuck Off. This gets the crowd going and they fear they might have made a huge mistake but to the bands surprise the slam dancing starts and the Ain’t Rights set becomes something to remember. It also leads the band into an unknowing scenario that they would end up having to fight their way out, for there right to live.
Green Room’s brutal, chilling story hits to the bone and you can feel the desperation and fear of each character in the film while they play out every scenario on how they can escape. The violence and damage that happens to each character, creates pit inside that makes you think about the truth and violence that could really occur in a movement that does exist.
GREEN ROOM is directed by Jeremy Saulnier and stars Patrick Stewart, Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, Alia Shawkat, Joe Cole, Callum Turner, Mark Webber, Eric Edelstein, Macon Blair and Kai Lennox. It is now playing in limited theaters.