“Green Room”

LOUISA:  2.5 STARS    MATT:   4.5 STARS


LOUISA SAYS:

I love violent movies, revenge movies and thrillers, but “Green Room” just didn’t work for me. The strong premise (a punk rock band is held captive in a backroads club by a group of neo-Nazi white power hillbillies) is squandered in a painfully slow to start film. Once things finally get rolling, the movie becomes hyper violent and repetitive (how many close-up scenes of blood-splattered pit bulls ripping out people’s throats do we really need?), filled with cut after cut after cut of extreme brutality that’s intended to startle and shock rather than serve any constructive purpose.

The hillbilly bloodbath that dominates the third act feels too much like reheated leftovers from director Jeremy Saulnier‘s much better work, “Blue Ruin.” As the main characters were picked off one by one, my emotional detachment grew and I found it harder to care, quickly becoming bored with it all. Saulnier is a talent to watch, but his finesse for tension building is wasted on poor character development and a laborious script.

Even the laughably bad dialogue couldn’t take my mind off of the glaring miscasting of Patrick Stewart as a white supremacist club owner or the inauthentic, pedestrian performances from the talented cast (including Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, Alia Shawkat, Mark Webber, Macon Blair and Joe Cole).

The movie is technically well constructed and beautifully crafted, but the story is so tainted with one-note characters, elementary dialogue, and copious amounts of repulsive violence that it briskly sinks under its own enthusiasm.Sadly , this one is no better than any run-of-the-mill direct to video movie you could pick up in a Redbox on a Friday night.

MATT SAYS:

Writer-director Jeremy Saulnier follows up his festival favorite (and entry in my 2014 top ten list) “Blue Ruin” with this gory and suspense-filled tale of ordinary people coping with extraordinary situations.

The story is simple: a struggling punk/metal band gets a gig playing a neo-Nazi skinhead club in rural Oregon. One of the members sees something he wasn’t supposed to, and quickly the band becomes trapped in the titular green room.

A completely fresh take on the siege movie, the characters in “Green Room” aren’t combat vets. They aren’t experienced with weapons. They know little about strategy. Instead, they are forced to rely on their imperfect wits to deal with ever-changing circumstances in a fight for their lives as the body count continues to rise. Allegiances shift and hidden motives become revealed as the movie continues to surprise. We’ve never seen a siege movie quite like this one.

Tautly constructed with relatable performances (including a memorable turn from Patrick Stewart), the story movies quickly and the suspense remains gripping throughout.

Oddly enough, Louisa completely disagreed with me on this movie and didn’t find it compelling at all. That rarely happens. I would love for more people to see this one and let us know which one of us you agree with.

 

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12 thoughts on ““Green Room”

  1. I’m really surprised Louisa even watched this film. I saw it last night. Lots to admire but it did start slow and moments of the film fell flat. But it was very suspenseful and even shocking at times. And I really did care about most of the main characters. My rating was *** (out of *****)

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    1. Louisa is nothing if not fearless when it comes to everything except horror movies. I of course disagree with both of you. I was on the edge of my seat during the entire movie and broke out into applause after. I think it was a tightly-wound thriller and I can’t wait to see it again.- Matt

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    2. I love the director (if you haven’t seen “Blue Ruin,” rent it now) and will continue to see anything and everything he does, but I really didn’t like “Green Room.” It was at Sundance and it seemed like the audience was split on it too. I love violent movies but not pointless ones. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! — Louisa

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    1. Oh please go see it so you can let us know which side you agree with! We’ve had readers who love it, readers who loathe it, and readers who land somewhere in the middle. Would love to hear your thoughts if you screen it! –Louisa

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  2. I don’t generally seek out violent gruesome films like this. I saw it at Sundance, so I didn’t know what I’d be in for, since I had not seen the director’s previous work. I liked seeing Patrick Stewart in such a different role, so I vote more with Matt than Laura on this one.

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    1. Hi MovieMavenGal! We saw it at Sundance too but Matt and I are both big fans of the director. Check out “Blue Ruin” if you haven’t seen it; it’s not as gruesomely violent as “Green Room.” Patrick Stewart was just too distracting for me. Thanks so much for your comment! Always nice to hear what our fellow movie fans think about things. –Louisa

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  3. I’ve watched this film a couple times and must say – I really like it! …aside from the questionable ending, rife with unecessary cheese. The tactically placed violence is an effective exercise in tension, especially the arm through the door scene and rutheless murder of two main chracters within 60 sconds. I also thought the cold, military-esque dialogue of Darcy and co as they established the ‘rules’ for killing was great, and very chilling. Not a perfect film by any means but a great review. Love getting two perspectives! Keep it up guys 🙂

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