Green Room (Jeremy Saulnier, 2016)

What's it about? A jobbing punk band accept a gig at a remote venue playing to a mostly neo-Nazi audience. Things get bad when they inadvertently witness a crime and end up barricaded in a room backstage whilst the thugs outside, marshalled by their menacing leader (Patrick Stewart), lay siege.


Is it any good? Starts off slowly as a kind of indie, mumblecore road movie, but soon switches genres to claustrophobic thriller as the bodies mount up. As with his previous film, the impressive Blue Ruin, Saulnier proves adept at showing just how nasty and brutal violence can be, with several cover-your-eyes moments of bloodshed here. It's tense stuff, with a palpable sense of the danger and pain that the protagonists are going through. All of which takes place against a dirty green-brown set design which heightens the sense of place and grimness - a perfect setting for a bloody Punk vs Nazi smackdown. But if all that sounds too intense, rest assured there's a healthy streak of black humour running through it to offset all the white supremacy.

Anything else I should know? It's likely to become a cult favourite, not least because it's one of the last films to star Anton Yelchin, who tragically died in a freak accident earlier this year. Best known from his role as Chekov in the rebooted Star Trek films, he had started to build up an impressive CV of work in smaller films, such as his affecting turn in the underseen romantic drama Like Crazy, which I've reviewed here. Speaking of Star Trek, Jean-Luc Picard fans might relish the chance to see Patrick Stewart play against type as the villain - he talks here about what attracted him to the role.

What does the Fonz think? A-O-KKK!


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