Imagine the Scooby Doo gang stumbling into a murderous Neo Nazi camp run by a remorseless Captain Picard. That’s really the best way to describe “Green Room”. Surprisingly, this works because of a well paced script and humor that offsets the violent moments which keeps you guessing when the next one will come.
Pat (Anton Yelchin), Reece (Joe Cole), Sam (Alia Shawka), and Tiger (Callum Turner) play in a punk rock band called The Ain’t Rights. Desperate for cash they book a gig at a Neo Nazi bar. At first, it looks like things are going to turn ugly but they win the crowd over with their music. With money in hand, the band is about to leave until they stumble onto a dead body in the green room. In crisis management mode, the club manager Gabe(Macon Blair) forces the band into the green room where they wait for the club owner to deal with the situation. Once the owner Darcy (Patrick Stewart) shows up it becomes obvious that the band will be killed to keep them silent. The band now finds themselves cornered and in a cat and mouse game desperate to escape from the club.
“Green Room” is a fun bloody ride. One minute it seems very light hearted, the next it’s a bloody mess. The juxtaposition of these elements give extra power to each as one seems like relief while the next seems even more devastating. The blood isn’t overdone or over shown and is presented as realistic as possible which builds the credibility of the story. There are some true nail biting edge-of-your-seat moments where you fear what is to come yet, the movie avoids delivering cliché’s and instead brings surprises. Patrick Stewart’s portrayal of the Nazi club owner is cold, calculating, and remorseless. He is a business owner who is protecting his livelihood by eliminating a threat and has no second thought about taking a life. After years of seeing Stewart in heroic inspirational roles like Captain Picard in “Star Trek” and Professor X in “X-Men”, it’s interesting to see just how cold and callous Stewart can be.
This film clearly won’t be for everyone but as far as the horror genre goes, this is a much more mainstream and accessible film than many. It’s well written, acted, and directed.
“Green Room” is in wide release 4/29/16.