Some horror movies rely on supernatural hijinks for suspense and others keep it grounded with a protagonist vs. “them” mentality. Green Room falls into the latter category. It follows the misadventures of struggling punk band Ain’t Right as they search for a gig and find one. Unfortunately for them
it’s in the backwoods of Oregon at an Arian metal club. The film stars Anton Yelchin (Chekov, Star Trek) and Alia Shawkat (Maeby Fünke, Arrested Development) as two of the punk band’s members, and Patrick Stewart (Cpt. Picard, Star Trek: The Next Generation) as the owner of the Arian club. Stewart plays Darcy, the villainous club owner, with admirable restraint, never going over the top as he delivers his chilling lines as a pragmatist whom just wants this whole situation to go away so he can go on with his despicable business of selling drugs and hating folk for no good reason.
Yelchin and Shawkat are joined by Joe Cole
and Callum Turner, filling out the band. When they only make 6 bucks off their friend Tad’s (David Wright Thompson) pathetic highway diner gig, the fools actually listen when he suggests another gig. Things go smoothly, until one of the band members forgets her phone in the green room, and walks in on the next act standing over the body of a dead girl. After only getting a partial call to 911 their hosts lock the band in the green room while the cops are supposedly on their way.
If you think the cops are coming
then good news, the dragons will definitely be in Westeros on next week’s Game of Thrones. Suffice to say the cops aren’t going to save the day and a standoff ensues. While we spend large chunks of the film in a confined space, events actually roll along at a decent pace and enough time is spent to make us care about the heroes before shit goes down . The writing is top notch for the genre and while people on both sides make questionable decisions, none of them are dumb enough to seem forced and there aren’t any characters that seem like their only role is to die horribly.
Speaking of death
, genre fans may walk away from the theatre without quite having their bloodlust satiated. Of course people die and there are a more than a few horrible acts, but more often than not the violence on screen is over in a flash. There is plenty of violent mayhem to go around as Darcy sends in dogs and thugs with blades and guns to “remove” the members of Ain’t Right and another witness, played by Imogen Poots (V for Vendetta, Need for Speed), from his establishment, making sure their deaths can’t be traced back to him or his sick asshole friends.
Yelchin, Shawkat, and Poots really deliver in their respective roles. Poots is the most informed of the bunch and acts as observer and
counsellor to the band as they desperately try to cook up a way out of their situation. Stewart puts his classical acting skills to good use as the pragmatic Darcy. He doesn’t want these punkers dead, he needs them to be dead. Even while trying to juggle all of the pieces of his problem s, he still remarks how the band’s equipment, piled in the hallway, is a fire hazard.
Yes, there are gaps in the film’s logic and
not enough blood for this reviewer, but Green Room delivers a well scripted horror flick with plenty of tension and believable nut-bags as a hellish showdown unfolds between a punk band trying to do the right thing and a gang of Aryan bastards. With much fewer shortcomings than expected Green Room proves that horror isn’t dead yet (despite The Purge series attempts to make everybody hate the genre). Green Room gives viewers the showdown of reboot Chekov vs. Picard that viewers deserve with just enough blood to get the R-rating.