Much like his 2013 backwoods tale of revenge Blue Ruin, Jeremy Saulnier’s eagerly anticipated follow-up pulls no punches.
Green Room is an intense horror thriller about a punk band held captive by white supremacists after a murder occurs. The film has shaken audiences throughout its festival run, including at Cannes where it screened in this year’s Directors’ Fortnight.
Having been stiffed on their payment for a gig, the band is forced to make a detour and play an extra show in order to afford fuel to get home. Pat (Anton Yelchin – Only Lovers Left Alive), Sam, Reece and Tiger find themselves in rural Oregon performing in front of a gathering of neo-Nazis. Just when it looks like they are home free, they stumble across a murder and are trapped in the venue’s designated green room. Suspicion, doubt and fear from both camps culminates in a series of violent acts that supremacist leader Darcy Banker (Sir Patrick Stewart, playing against type) and his right hand man Gabe (Macon Blair – Blue Ruin) attempt to keep under control.
Saulnier displays great restraint and discipline in his direction and storytelling, utilising David Fincher-esque techniques to spine-chilling effect; allowing the horror to manifest itself in the mind of the viewer as much as it plays out on screen.
With just the right seasoning of humour, Green Room is goes above and beyond the usual ‘friends-trapped-in-a-house’ subgenre tropes.