The Film (5/5)
Green Room is the third feature film by director Jeremy Saulnier following 2007's Murder Party, and his critically acclaimed 2013 thriller Blue Ruin. Green Room follows the exploits of hardcore punk rock band the Ain't Rights (Aren't Rights?) as they undertake a tour of the Pacific Northwest from their native Washington DC. As the film beings they are convinced by a local punk fan to play a small club show, for what amounts to very little money. To make up for his obvious indiscretion (pulling them far out of the way for so little money), he gets them a gig at a club his cousin Daniel works at. They are warned it's a boots and braces (Nazi Skinheads) joint, and to just get in, play, and get out.
Unfortunately, for the group it doesn't work out that way. As they are leaving after their performance Sam (Alia Shawkat) remembers that she has forgotten her phone in the dressing room. When Pat (Anton Yelchin) goes into retrieve it they stumble on to the scene of a recently committed murder of a young woman by a skinhead named Werm. As it turns out the club is a front for a White Power movement by a man named Darcy (Patrick Stewart like you've never seen him before), and he and members of the movement have no intention on letting the only witnesses to the murder out of the club alive. It thus becomes a battle between the Ain't Rights and a young punk woman named Amber who also witnessed the killing, and the skinheads who are out to kill them using every resource they have.
2016 is a great year for movies, and Green Room is the best new film I have seen so far this year. The film is a tense thriller that is grounded by a great cast, led by a director who has a masterful control over the tension in the film. The film starts out with a 10 minute segment showing the band's life on the road, introducing us to their characters, and giving us just enough of them as people before letting them loose in the chaos of the Nazi club. This helps to set the scene and flesh out the band as three-dimensional characters rather than punk clichés ripe for the slaughter.
Saulnier really conjures up the accurate feeling of the bands and members of an underground elite music scene. The attention to detail from the punk fans apartment at the beginning to Green Room club, and more was spot on. The attention to detail also includes the writing of the characters who feel like they legitimately live in this world.
The performances, of course, though stylized were quite fitting to the roles that were being played. Special notice should be of course be made to the tragically late Anton Yelchin who plays Pat with a subtle, yet powerful performance that fits the character quite well. Imogen Poots' Amber makes an excellent foil to his semi-weak character, and really is the "action hero" of the piece. If this were a 70's Revenge Thriller she would not be out of place in it. We also have Patrick Stewart performing a darker more vicious turn than anything I've ever seen him in. He is a compelling actor at the best of times, and in this was hugely watchable every moment he was on screen.
Lionsgate presents Green Room in a 2:40:1 1080p AVC encoded transfer that preserves the film's OAR. Detail is excellent, colors are reproduced quite well, and blacks are inky and deep.
The audio is presented in a DTS-HD MA 5.1 track in English. The track is quite solid with dialogue, score, and ambient effects coming through nicely. I did not detect any issues with the track on my play through.
We get an audio commentary track by director Jeremy Saulnier that is quite interesting and informative. We also get a short making of featurette called Into the Pit.
It is pretty hard to find good horror films and thrillers these days. Jeremy Saulnier's last 2 films Blue Ruin and now Green Room have proved to be one of the exceptions to this drought. Green Room may in fact be one of the finest thrillers of 2016, if not the very finest. The Blu-ray looks and sounds fantastic, though it is limited in extras. The movie itself is HIGHLY RECOMMEND, The Blu-ray is RECOMMENDED.