Green Room (2016)

  • Patrick Stewart is fantastic as the level-headed, calculating, neo-nazi leader
  • Incredibly realistic violence (something the director prides himself on)
  • A great thriller that takes no time getting the band trapped in the green room
  • Formidable bad guys for once, no shooting point blank and missing found here
  • One of those movies that gets you thinking about how you would handle such a situation
  • One of the years must see thrillers

  • The characters are paper thin and barely established
  • Sometimes difficult to hear what Patrick Stewart is saying to his goons
  • One could argue why they didn't just bumrush the people in the green room from the start
  • No real emotional connection between the band members

Score: 8/10

Some movies have over-the-top violence (The Evil Dead), some have excessive violence (Inside), and some have realistic violence, that's Green Room. Following up the out-of-no-where hit Blue Ruin, Saulnier returns with another tension-fueled story with crazy realistic violence that cuts to the bone. This may not have a complex story like Blue Ruin, but it's definitely a step up in terms of tension and trepidation.

And no, Green Room isn't just the type of movie that has violence for the sake of violence, this movie earns the violence. It's doled out in small short bursts, but those small bursts are incredibly potent and shocking. Every bit a carnage shown on screen is earned through tension building up and releasing in horrible acts of mayhem.

Not only does the movie present the audience with the obvious fear of death (specifically by mauling) but it also presents us with the fear of a real, competent antagonist. Patrick Stewart's character is menacing without ever doling out any violence, he's smart, calculating, and manipulative. It's not often you see movies where the bad guys actually outsmart the heroes multiple times. And that's the real fear factor here, a formidable bad guy in a near helpless situation. That's what makes the movie so damn good, the characters are screwed and both we the audience and the characters themselves know it.

Obviously, the downside of Green Room is the paper thin characters who receive little to no development. I honestly couldn't even tell you their names at this point. I wish we were shown a bit more friendly acts amongst the group to reinforce our emotional connection between them or amongst themselves. They hardly felt like actual friends, it was more like they were random people coming together to perform a few songs and nothing more.

Outside of the weak characters, there are still plenty of twists and turns the characters must go up against which only makes the movie all the more exciting. The general premise might sound tepid or simple but Saulnier knows exactly what he is doing and creates a ton of tension that more than makes up for the lack of a complex story. This is one of the years must see thrillers!