Posted May 16 2016
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Green Room - This Movie Punk Rocks

Dir: Jeremy Saulnier

Starring Patrick Stewart, Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, Alia Shawkat, Macon Blair

They should have never played “Nazi Punks – Fuck Off”…

Jeremy Saulnier made a big impression with his first film, Blue Ruin. Here, he confirms it was anything but a fluke, with a thriller that understands how to manipulate tension better than many a more seasoned hand.

Green Room finds an arrogant punk band stuck in an isolated roadhouse run by neo-Nazis, who just happen to have killed someone, which the band just happen to stumble upon. You know this is not going to end well.

As this long dark night of survival moves forward, Saulnier proves his mastery of ratcheting up the fear and terror of an against the odds situation. From savage fighting dogs, to sliced open stomachs, to Imogen Poots’ unfortunate haircut, this is a movie where you basically take your breath in with you, but end up holding it for dear life throughout.

A terrific cast is led by Stewart’s charmingly cruel but deadly club owner, Yelchin goes from whiner to attempted winner, and Poots proves – once again, and we’ve been saying this for years – that she is one movie away from being a much bigger star than she is. Everyone delivers here really, but the writer-director and his mastery of this decidedly grisly form is the true standout.

There are shades of early Carpenter and Assault on Precinct 13, echoes of Peckinpah and Straw Dogs, and there even feels like there’s a huge dollop of the horrific inevitability (intentional of not) of the brilliant Eden Lake.

And yet, Saulnier makes it all his own, adding brick after brick of edge of the seat fear, right up to the very last moment.

Nails will be bitten, teeth will grind, arse cheeks will be clenched. And you can’t get better than that on a good night out.

 

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