Green Room has a quality that few modern horror movies possess: intelligence. The film has shocks and scares, but what makes the film truly terrifying is the intensity of each scene played out with suspense, and the caustic ideas of the unjustified nature of violence. Few films remain gripping from beginning to end, but Green Room has enough brauns to last the runtime, as it is a film in which the heroes and villains are in a battle of wits to outsmart each other and survive.
The Ain’t It Rights, a punk band led by Pat (Anton Yelchin) are in the middle of a failin tour, and book a performance at a Neo-Nazi Skinhead bar. After witnessing a horrific act, they fall prisoner to the enigmatic bar owner Darcy (Patrick Stewart). It’s hardly an original premise, but thankfully this is a film in which people make smart decisions and where characters interact in ways that flesh them out, so when the carnage hits, it’s all the more shocking and emotional.
All that can be said for director Jeremy Saulnier’s skill as a tension builder can be said for his virtuosity; there film inhabits a stark, lonely world, in which the gloomy day lives of the heroes is a preferred scenario. Anton Yelchin is a perfectly intense and dynamic hero, but the film belongs to Stewart, who is understated and sparingly used for maximum affect. Green Room is a daring thriller, and for the horror genre, it’s the best in years. Grade: B+