Green Room is one of those rare horrors that does one thing, but does it very well. It is an Eli Roth film, only good.
A struggling punk rock band need some gigs and fast. Unfortunately they are directed to a concert at a place ran by Neo-Nazis, and quickly find themselves in a hostage situation.
While Green Room has been classified as a horror, this is more like a thriller mixed with gorno (that is, gore-porn). The film is surprisingly quiet and framed very realistically. We see our to-be victims on the road, siphoning petrol from cars to keep their banger of a van on the road, dragging their gear from pathetic gig to pathetic gig. They are wasters with angry talent, and we see their desperation in getting any cash at all.
It is probably a good forty minutes before anything truly violent happens. But boy does it get violent! Green Room has perhaps some of the best body injury effects and make up work I have seen since the best of the Saw franchise’s momentary gore. Peoples arms get partially hacked off, faces get shot off, a particularly horrific moment occurs with a knife making contact with a particularly fleshy body part all too slowly.
All the while Sir Patrick Stewart is the chief villain!
Seriously! What is Patrick Stewart doing in a film like this? The man has no end of enthusiasm, from Shakespearian theatre to Ted, and Green Room is a surprisingly interesting role. I was left wanting to know so much more about his character. Stewart needs to play more villains.
As a film, it isn’t up there with the likes of It Follows, it isn’t that unique. It is a classic horror device: “who will survive?” Watching people get picked off one by one with incredibly sharp and impactful manners. There’s a good sense of humour floating amongst the brutality, but at the end of the day it is a solid but familiar experience.
I would argue too that my lack of music (especially punk rock) knowledge put me at a disadvantage when enjoying the film a lot more.
As a massive fan of Sir Patrick Stewart I can’t not like this film, and the intensity and ferocity of the killing is not to be underestimated! It is a fairly familiar experience at the end of the day.