Weekly Review: Green Room (2015)

After performing at a Neo-Nazi club and seeing something they shouldn’t have seen, the members of a punk rock band find themselves locked in their break room, and they must fight for their lives if they hope to ever escape.

I didn’t really know much about Green Room before watching the film. I’d seen a trailer for it, so I knew it was somewhat of an independent film from A24. I didn’t really know too much about the plot of the film though. My main reason for seeing it was because of Anton Yelchin (He is already greatly missed).

As the movie began, I thought I was going to be in for a long ride. It starts out very slow. The music is very loud. The characters talk over each other, and it sounds like they’re mumbling. I was prepared to have to sit through it, and I was prepared to not like it. After the first 20 minutes or so, I’m happy to say that I did start to enjoy it.

I will say before I go any further that Green Room is not my usual type of movie, and despite the fact that I did enjoy it, I probably wouldn’t watch it again. Green Room is a decently violent movie, and there are definitely instances of gore. There is a lot of slicing, stabbing, shooting, throats getting ripped out, and just a general sense of blood. I’m not really into gore, but there were other aspects to Green Room that allowed me to continue looking at it objectively.

Screen Shot 2016-08-16 at 3.08.59 PM

When Green Room really gets the ball rolling, it has a very interesting plot. There are a lot of twists and turns, and as soon as you think you know what’s going on, more information is added that makes the situation a little more murky. What makes things even more interesting is how quickly, as a viewer, you sense how pointless their plight is. I was almost immediately on the same page as the characters about what they might possibly have to do to survive.

Normally, this is where I would delve into the story a bit more, but in the case of Green Room, I can’t really do that. This is because of the simple fact that Green Room is simple. It’s very cut and dry. The few sentences that I wrote at the beginning of this review pretty much sum up what the whole movie is about. If I go into any more detail, I’ll just spoil the kernels of interest for anyone who decides to watch the film, so I’m not going to do that.

It’s probably important to remember that the villains in Green Room are Neo-Nazis. Even some of the characters that aren’t as much of villains are Neo-Nazis. If you are familiar with this type of group, then you know what sort of dialogue and subject matter you can expect from those characters. Surprisingly, Patrick Stewart plays the leader of the Neo-Nazis in this movie, and he does a great job at being bad. None of his usual decorum is there. I was unsure of what I would think about him playing a role like this, but he pulls it off.

I’m not exactly sure how I feel about having villains that are so easy to dislike in this sort of movie. I felt like it could have been more of a grey area, but for me, it wasn’t. This kind of leads into how I felt that, although the movie was great in how ruthless it was, it didn’t really have much to offer. It’s very simple, cut and dry stuff. Even the murky nature in the story that I mentioned earlier has nothing to do with the main characters. It just helps explain the inner workings of the Neo-Nazi group.

If you take it for what it is, in all of its simplicity, Green Room is a pretty decent movie. It could have done more, gone farther with its story, but it is made with precision. I can’t argue against that. The director clearly had a vision for the film, as limited as it was, and I think those goals were met. Green Room has decently good reviews online, except for a few criticisms.

While I personally wouldn’t outright recommend Green Room, if you get a chance to see it, and it seems like something you’d like, then you might want to give it a shot. It was a bit more gory than I would have preferred, so if you’re squeamish, you’d probably be okay skipping this one.

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