On Jeremy Saulnier’s Green Room (2015)

by Kayann Mitchell
Jeremy Saulnier follows up his Cannes smash Blue Ruin with the gut punch of a film Green Room, starring Anton Yelchin, Imogen Pootes and Sir Patrick Stewart. As punks trapped among a group of hyper violent neo nazis. 

Our film opens with a van stopped in the midst of a corn field. We soon come to find out that the van belongs to a young punk group called the Ain’t Rights and their lead singer Tiger falling asleep at the wheel has landed them in a pickle on their way to interview and gig with Tad a local punk rocker. The group decide to send Sam and Pat off to find gas and get them back on the road. Finally meeting with Tad the band gives their interview and then get told their original gig got canceled due to a snafu on Tads part. But he promises them an even better paid gig at a club his cousin Daniel is affiliated with. 

Getting to the club the band sets up and starts their set. Playing to a mostly skinhead crowd their opening number of Nazi Punks Fuck Off goes over like a lead balloon but soon when they launch into their harder stuff the crowd welcomes them and they finish their set getting ready to make tracks. When Sam recalls she left her phone in the green room. When Pat kindly agrees to fetch it for her it sets up a series of terrifying events that has everyone left in the club fighting for their lives.
I was seriously weary about watching Green Room. The idea of neo nazis has always touched a raw nerve. Being a person of colour and having been around when that movement was strong as a kid. There is an inherent fear that lives deep inside me when it comes to skinheads. So that weariness helped with the viewing experience as I worried endlessly about Tiger, Sam, Pat and Reece. I wasn’t sure how it was all going to play out but once it did i could scarce breathe. In ways it reminded me of Fede Alvarez’s’ Don’t Breathe. Trapped in a seemingly impossible trap with no reprieve with a terrifying foe hunting you down, horrifying! This film is visceral, bold and graphic so if you have an issue with that sort of thing you’ll be disappointed. But it moves like lightening and pulls absolutely no punches. And that is a blessing. I actually l love it so much its made it to my top 9 of 2016. It comes with the highest of recommendations from yours truly. So stop reading this shit and go watch it.

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