One of the best horror/thrillers you’ll see this year comes from an indie film with a deceiving title. This week’s release of writer/director Jeremy Saulnier’s Green Room on DVD and Blu-ray is a must buy for any horror fan.
The film follows punk band, The Ain’t Rights, as they finish up a Northwestern tour and are on their way back to Arlington, VA when they get a gig in Oregon. But little do they know they’ll be playing in the middle of nowhere, to Neo-Nazis. When one member forgets her phone, things start spilling into nightmare territory for the five piece as they get caught up in a murder. That’s when Darcy (Patrick Stewart) is called in to handle this unexpected hiccup. Trapped in the green room, the band soon finds out this might be their last gig.
While Green Room may seem to have a simple concept on its surface, the film is revealed to be much more complex than it appears through its dialogue, which proves to be even more terrifying than all of the gruesome killings. You could believe Stewart as a serial killer when he speaks. Throughout the movie, you believe Stewart to be this quiet, well-spoken villain, as you watch him plot and figure out how to keep the band from talking. There is a good reflection in the band when they start to realize their situation and what they have to do to stay alive.
Green Room is a dark and low lit film, and this is often reflected on the blu-ray. Sometimes, scenes are distractingly dim and hard-to-see. However, at other times, this darkness makes the terror more vivid. Audio was another issue with the blu-ray edition of the film. At times the dialogue was too quiet, while the music/SFX were too loud.
There isn’t much for special features save only a 10 minute behind the scenes video called “Into The Pit: Making Green Room”, which shows the production and has interviews with cast and crew about what it was like shooting, getting into character,and the plot of the movie. There is also a commentary track with writer/director Jeremy Saulnier which is worth re-watching the movie just to hear how he talks about his influences, Easter eggs in scenes and choices he made.
Green Room is a knife that cuts through all the mediocre thriller/horrors and stays with you well after viewing. It’s got an appeal to horror fans, thriller fans and fans of great movie making. The writing, cinematography, and acting all standout as this film winds through quiet claustrophobic moments to sudden gut-churning bloody kills. This is a must have addition to any cinephile’s collection.
4.5 out of 5