The UHF of the film world.
Latest news

Carlos Prime [Celluloid 10.02.15] thriller

[Editor's Note: This is the third positive review we've had for Green Room. Be sure to check out rochefort's FF review as well as our Cannes coverage from earlier in the year.]

Ain't Rights are so hardcore they don't even have a Facebook page in 2015. Sick.

Diverted off course from a less-than impressive out of town show, the punk rock band Ain't Rights find themselves in a place that looks like it's going to provide them with a hell of a story one day as they sit down for an interview and talk about tour life. But this place exudes a particular unease from the moment they park. Punk rock shows, ubiquitously, have at least a small population of skinheads or Neo Nazis floating around somewhere- but never have they seen a venue this densely populated with swastika tattoos and jackboots.

Somehow surviving the set (after an incredible in-your-fascist-face Dead Kennedys cover), the Ain't Rights pack up their gear and start on their way. In that moment they witness a horrific act and become hostages backstage. Held at gunpoint and absent any means of communication to the outside world, their chances don't look too good for making it out of there alive. Can they use their rebellious intuition to fight back against the overwhelming, Hitler-worshipping zealots?

Jeremy Saulnier (Blue Ruin) rampages his way back onto the big screen with his new film Green Room. In a nonstop frenzy of initially somewhat neutral characters plunging farther and farther into baser instincts, this film is an absolute heart attack of cinematic brilliance. Clever timing and strategic awareness make it so tremendously addictive to watch. The audience is brought right into the minds of the characters so the foreboding is profound and unmistakable. Pat (Anton Yelchin) and Amber (Imogen Poots) start off with little in common other than survival. As things get worse, it's really all they need to get along.

Remarkable tension and insurmountable odds steadily stacking against the film's protagonists only get the blood to flow faster. Ferocious acts of violence may be a bit much for the faint of heart, but the writing is shrewd enough to pepper cooling-down situations with the occasional jest. And honestly, I don't know if you could get away with making a film this alarmingly violent without giving the audience a chance to breathe and wipe away a tear with a laugh.

The behavioral nuances are truly radical with these actors. So much of the importance is based on the fact that it's a handful of punk rockers (very few skills besides music) against a bunch of Neo-Nazis (very few skills besides yelling racial epithets at minorities in public). It feels like watching two sides of baby animals fighting in the savanna- that is until those with a few tricks up their sleeves step into play. Some of the main discomfort comes in seeing the rookies go up against the ringers. You just know things aren't going to end well.

Macon Blair continues his collaboration with writer/director Saulnier, as one of Sir Patrick Stewart's skinhead underlings. That's right. Sir Patrick as a Neo-Nazi. If that's not enough to get you to go to the theater right there, I've got nothing left for you.

An opus of suspenseful brilliance, Green Room sinks its teeth into you at just the right moment and doesn't back off. Grisly, edgy, and spectacularly illustrated.

The Sex Pistols in Panic Room plopped in the middle of American History X.

Recommended Release: Blue Ruin

You might also like

Leave a comment