A young punk rock band find themselves trapped in a secluded venue after stumbling upon a horrific act of violence.
Filmmaker Jeremy Saulnier is one to watch in the coming years. His first two films, 'Murder Party' and 'Blue Ruin' really hit the mark in their respective genres. The stories kept things fresh and introduced a new filmmaker and style to the cinema realm. 'Blue Ruin' was a huge critical success and showed how a revenge story could also be a story of redemption and a character study without a lot of big action set pieces. The screenplay and characters were all complex and a joy to watch. Even though 'Blue Ruin' was a slow burn, the whole film was completely suspenseful.
Cut to a couple years later, and we have 'Green Room', which might just be one of the best movies to come out in 2016. The suspense is at an all time high here, the characters and performances are top notch, and the music and cinematography are unbelievably good. Not only that, but you have the former captain of the USS Enterprise, Patrick Stewart playing a ruthless neo nazi who owns a punk rock club and tries to kill several musicians for witnessing a murder. It just doesn't get better than that. What Saulnier does that so many have not done before him, is that he shows the somewhat softer and human side of these neo nazis, to where you actually sympathize with them in a certain way, because of course they are all human. It's a breath of fresh air in this thriller genre is one big thrill ride from start to finish.
The film follows a band called 'The Ain't Rights' who are touring extremely small venues, making little to no money, and are on their way back home after a long tour. They even have to siphon gas from other cars to get home and sometimes play for food. The band consists of the late Anton Yelchin, who plays Pat the guitarist, Alia Shawkat (Sam), and a few other musicians, who play some hardcore punk music. Their friend tells them they can make a quick few hundred dollars if they play at this remote punk club that is a neo nazi hangout. Desperate for money, they decide to play it, where Pat has the idea to start with "Nazi Punks Fuck Off". It's rather funny.
After the show, they witness a murder and are held against their will by Gabe (Macon Blair) in the green room of the club. Gabe goes and gets the owner of the club Darcy (Patrick Stewart), who calls the shots both literally and figuratively. Everything seems on the up and up, but in fact, it is not even close to that, as Darcy and his band of neo nazis aim to kill the entire band, thus forcing this punk rock group to try and escape with their lives with the help of a young club regular, Amber (Imogen Poots). From here, things kick into ultra-high gear with bullets, killer dogs, machetes, knives, and blood flying everywhere.
Saulnier keeps his characters tight and locations tighter without an option to really escape or breathe through the entire 95 minutes. There are big surprises throughout and some excellent dark humor as well. This is Anton Yelchin's last film that was released before his untimely death. He gives an amazing performance here as someone who faces the death in the face with courage and bravery, but is also scared of going down that path. He is phenomenal in this role. Patrick Stewart is amazing as always here too and it's great to see him play such a cold and ruthless person. This is a beautifully shot film that is highly entertaining. You won't soon forget 'Green Room'.
The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
'Green Room' comes with a 50GB Blu-ray Disc from Lionsgate/A24 and is Region A Locked. There is a digital download insert included here. The disc is housed in an eco-friendly hard, blue plastic case with a cardboard sleeve.
'Green Room' comes with an excellent 1080p HD transfer presented in 2.40:1 aspect ratio. The film looks amazing, visually speaking. Detail is very sharp and vivid throughout. Closeups reveal all of the grime and dirt of the club walls, as well as each freckle, wrinkle, and gory wounds on the actor's faces. Wider shots are equally as sharp and give the image quite a bit of depth in this somewhat claustrophobic film.
The practical makeup effects look incredible here too, as you will be able to make out all of the bone, guts, and blood nicely. Colors are a different story. Don't get me wrong, the colors look incredible, but there really aren't any bold, striking colors that pop off screen. This is a dark film, both visually and tonally, so everything has a rather decaying look to it. Everything looks a bit muted. The greens, grays, and icy blues look amazing.
The green room itself has smoky yellow to it and the blood is super red, which stands out from everything else. The black levels are consistently deep and inky and the skin tones are natural and spot on. There were zero compression problems or any other issues with the image, giving this video presentation a top notch score.
This release comes with a great lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix. This is an example of how to do a thriller/horror film when it comes to the audio. This is a fully immersive and intense experience and the sound just knocks it out of the park. The sound effects of the gun shots and each machete slice pack a punch. You will hear all of the gooey and crunching noises to go with each violent hit. There is some excellent directionality here too.
The music of the film is excellent as well and completely immerses you into the hellish punk club. The punk music is raw and invigorating and just blasts through the speakers. The bass rocks hard when it has to, never going into rocky territory. The dialogue is always crystal clear and is easy to follow, without any pops, cracks, hiss, or high shrills. This audio presentation is excellent.
Audio Commentary - This is one of my favorite recent commentary tracks, which has director/writer Jeremy Saulnier discussing just about every aspect of making 'Green Room'. He talks about casting, shooting on location, the music, the effects, the origins of the story, and how a lot of changed over time. This is a very fun and informative commentary.Must listen.
In the Pit: Making 'Green Room' (HD, 10 Mins.) - This is a better than average standard promo reel for the film with cast and crew interviews, discussing the making of the film, along with some behind the scenes footage. They all talk about the music, and how all of the actors actually played instruments and sang, along with how bad the weather was on the shoot.
Trailers (HD, 4 Mins.) - Here are a couple of trailers for the film along with some other Lionsgate movies.
'Green Room' is one of the best films of the year. The story, suspense, music, and casting are top notch on every level. There is not one dull moment in the entire film, and the fact that Patrick Stewart plays a neo nazi is just fantastic. You won't see another movie like this. The video and audio presentations are both excellent and despite the lack of extras, the bonus features that are on this disc are definitely worth watching. This is a must own.