GREEN ROOM Review: Bloody Fun With Patrick Stewart

Green Room is not my genre. I don’t see many horror movies, especially not ones that pit teens against “Back Woodsy”killers ( I love Kevin Smith, yet was unable to finish watching Red State, which has a similar premise to Green Room). But, like with Saw (which I finally saw: Har-de-har-har) the genre I usually avoid is elevated by intelligent writing and great casting that transcend the genre.

There will be MINIMAL Spoilers ahead. No death revealed or plot points from late in the film mentioned here!Green Room Anton Yelchin as Pat and Alia Shawkat as Sam Imogen PootsGreen Room is about a broke band populated by actors Anton Yelchin (Star Trek, Fright Night) and Alia Shawkat (Maeby on Arrested Development),  among others, who are drawn to a Neo-Nazi “Venue” in the middle of buttfuck nowhere with the promise of $350 for a gig. Things quickly go south when bandleader Pat (Anton Yelchin) stumbles upon a fresh body and the murderers in the band’s Green Room. The band holes themselves up in said Green Room (I wonder where they got the title…) as they are assaulted by the building’s owner/leader of the movement  Darcy (Patrick Stewart) and his men who are in full damage control mode with the aim of destroying all evidence… and witnesses… to the murder of Amber’s (Imogen Poots) friend, who is also trapped with the Band Members.Green Room Anton Yelchin as Pat and Alia Shawkat as SamIt’s a simple premise, but it works! Pat and his band most make some tough decisions: how long can they wait in the Green Room before they are overrun? When is the best time to make a strike/escape if there are no other exits? The film becomes a game of cat and mouse, as the band pushes their way through Darcy’s bar, only to retreat back to the “safety” of the Green Room. Repeat that formula a few times and you’d think Green Room would become a bore, but it never lets up; there are always new ways to kill and be killed and the movie’s 1 hour 35 minute run-time makes sure the film doesn’t overstay its welcome.Patrick Stewart as Darcy in Green RoomBesides being clever with  “push and get pushed back” plot, the material is elevated immensely by Patrick Stewart’s performance. You wouldn’t think a man whose played iconic Geek heroes like Captain Jean-Luc Picard and Professor Xavier with a voice ideal for Shakespeare would be an intimidating and convincing a Neo-Nazi. Yet, the movie’s most chilling moments arrive when Darcy (Stewart) is trying to “negotiate” with the band from the other side of a barricaded door, leaving the audience simply with his deep and terrifying voice made even more unnerving by his calmness. Stewart’s imposing leader is not just the scary voice on the other side of a door; his character is just a violent and ferocious as any of his men. I never thought I’d say this, but Patrick Stewart is pretty damn scary.Green Room Imogen PootsAny film is only as good as its antagonist… and protagonists, with Anton Yelchin and Imogen Poots (who also starred together in the horror/comedy Fright Night) carrying half the film when Patrick Stewart isn’t around. Macon Blair who plays Gabe, a henchman to Darcy, is also fantastic here, starring in his 2nd movie for Writer/Director Jeremy Saulnier following the incredibly under-rated and unseen Blue Ruin (watch it now!). It is just a coincidence that both of Saulnier’s films have colors in the title…

Looking for smart, fun horror with a grand baddy? Look no further than Green Room! Make it so.


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