Green Room Serenade (Green Room, 2016)
Green Room is one of Anton Yelchin’s final films. The story is simple. Pat and his friends are in a punk band. When their show falls through, they get a new gig in a remote club. They discover it is a Neo-Nazi bar. When they stumble upon a terrible crime, it is a fight for survival.
Once things start, the film is unrelentingly intense as the band fights for survival, along with a young woman who may or may not be on there side. The film is full of surprises and the performances are great. Yelchin’s performance as Pat (who starts out a quiet and peaceable young man then forced to fight) is solidly sympathetic. The absolute stand out is Patrick Stewart. As the head of the Neo-Nazi group, Darcy, he is unnervingly menacing. I am used to the kindly and wise characters Stewart has played for over two decades. None of that is here. He is cruel, manipulative and lethally skilled.
Imogen Poot’s plays Amber as a mystery. Is she trying to help the band, or is she actually devoted to Darcy and his crew?
The film takes many twists and turns, constantly giving you hope for success only to have it taken away in a shocking moment. Writer/Director Jeremy Saulnier shows a real understanding for creating tension. His first feature film, Murder Party was an amusing horror/comedy about a lonely guy invited to a costume party that turns out to be a a group of psychopaths who invite people to hunt and kill. Using a similar premise of innocents trapped by psychopaths, he trades in humor for intensity.
Green Room is a tense and exciting thriller that keeps the viewer engaged right up to the end.