The big summer blockbusters are starting to roll out, but the best action movie you can see in theatres today has gotten a lot less hype than “The Jungle Book” and
“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
“Green Room,” directed by Jeremy Saulnier, was shot on a budget of just $5 million, according to Vox. This pales in comparison to the $175 million spent on “The Jungle Book” and the $250 million needed for “Batman v Superman.”
However, “Green Room” provides non-stop thrills, from its bloody start to its even bloodier ending. The film has received positive reviews in film festivals and generous critical praise, and yet continues to see a smaller audience than it deserves.
Here’s why you need to watch “Green Room” when it hits your local multiplex:
The premise is gripping
A punk band, living from cheap gig to cheap gig, reluctantly takes a job at a neo-Nazi run bar in Oregon. The crowd is raucous but the show goes well. However, after witnessing a murder backstage, the band is held hostage and finds itself at war with an army of skinheads.
This is a movie of counterculture versus counterculture.
It doesn’t feel like any movie made today
“Green Room” takes place in the present. Characters use cell phones, which actually end up being part of the film’s most inciting incident. However, the movie feels like it’s from a completely different era.
Movies about punk bands are rare these days, let alone ones that uses violence this graphically. “Green Room” evokes survival-based horror classics like “Deliverance” and “Straw Dogs.” But while both those movies are about civilisation creeping in on the uncivilized, this one is about two fringe groups, one worse than the other, butting heads.
It’s a great movie to experience with a crowd
There are two types of movies that are vastly improved by a live audience’s reaction: comedy and horror. “Green Room” contains a little bit of both. It is great on its own, but really feeds off the energy of a crowd.
One such scene in particular is the moment when the band members and their new friend-by-circumstance Amber (Imogen Poots) have a standoff on opposite sides of a door, as the bar’s owner (Patrick Stewart) stands on one side, promising to let them leave unharmed if they surrender. Like much of the movie the scene is unbearably tense, so expect to hear a lot of screaming and shouting in your theatre.
The characters are great
If Jeremy Sauliner were a bad director, it would feel like this movie was created simply for shock value. Luckily, with just two other films under his belt (“Murder Party” and “Blue Ruin”), he is one of the best filmmakers working today. Besides his eye for action, Sauliner creates characters you really come to care about.
Sauliner was actually in a punk band at one point in his life, and you feel that a lot of the movie draws from this.
Except for the flesh eating dogs, of course.
Sure, this is a small movie and you might just want to wait until it comes out On Demand. But this is the sort of rare film you should rush out to see on the big screen.
Just prepare yourself for some gore.
“Green Room” is now playing nationwide.
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