Monday, April 11, 2016
Green Room (2016)
The plot has a metal band going to a to play a gig only to find it’s been canceled. The promoter gets them another gig to make up for it, but it’s playing for a bunch of white supremacists. They are told, they are perfect for the gig, but just don’t talk politics. They have a great set, but it all goes to hell when they go into the green room to find a dead body. The situation escalates via an ill-advised 911 call and soon it’s a battle for survival since the band can’t leave the green room without getting killed.
This is a tense unpleasant incredibly good thriller. The low key and realistic nature of the violence and the handling of the situation make it even harder to disconnect from the people on screen. These people could be us. The film also get tons of bonus points for shading with details that don’t drive the plot but add resonances that make the world well rounded. For example the drug operation in the basement is never dealt with it’s simply there.
Director Jeremy Saulnier brilliantly ends expectations by using what we think are going to be cliche set ups only to swerve off into more realistic and unexpected ways. He also gets more bonus points for making everyone expendable. Don’t get attached to anyone because they may end up dying.
I could probably argue that this is a near perfect edge of your seat thriller except for a small bump in the plot. Basically the the events are set in motion by events that require the cast to be too stupid for words by doing two things that are are clearly not smart, first is busting into the green room when it was clear they shouldn't and the second was instantly dialing 911. After all the tension and danger and being told to hush several times going in, they do stupid stuff anyway. In someway it's keeping with the characters, and I could buy going into the green room, but the speed dialing 911 was just a tad too dumb (or fast).
However once you get past the moronic behavior the film takes off and the film really kicks ass. Trust me it had the screening room full of critics I saw this with levitating out of their seats repeatedly.
One of the best thrillers of recent vintage and a must see.