With Blue Ruin Jeremy Saulnier made a quiet yet somehow screaming thriller. Macon Blair and his vengeful drifter slow cooked the film to near perfection and Saulnier showed the indie movie world that noir was alive and well in backwater America. By letting scenes of angry contemplation and harrowing violence sit with the audience the way it sat with its killer Blue Ruin was quietly captivating from start to finish. With his third film the young director goes all out for loud, brash, ratcheted tension, blasting Green Room out into the world as a sort of punkish Panic Room when a young band performing at a secluded neo-nazi bar walk into a murderous backstage situation.
The band in question (the late great Anton Yelchin, Joe Cole, Callum Turner and Arrested Development‘s Alia Shawkat) are put under the strangest house arrest ever by a seething but still Shakespearian Patrick Stewart as the head of the romper stomping Nazi youths. Baring witness to the aftermath of a murder Saulnier is still infatuated with the fallout of violence but he certainly isn’t afraid of showing it. Green Room, in all of its neck biting, arm chopping, stomach slicing gory glory is incredibly intense; Assault on Precinct 13 with skinheads.
Though it’s not quite as though provoking as Blue Ruin, this nasty little film knows how to push your buttons. The desperation on-screen is smart and real, the heat coming off the screen is unbearable and the principle cast are fantastically manic. Yelchin and Imogen Poots, as the box cutter happy Amber have final boy/girl written all over them but Saulnier literally rips cast members apart with jaw-dropping and horrifying glee. It’s not for the faint of heart but if you can still do it Green Room is a loud thrashing rock and roll horror film obsessed with survival and glistening with blood, sweat and tears.