Green Room: A Punk Rock Action Mayhem Film
Jenna Caldwell | 4/27/16 3:33pm
| Updated 4/27/16 3:33pm
© A24 Photo by Scott Patrick Green, courtesy of A24.
What happens when you mix Neo-Nazi captors, a daring punk rock band and the will to survive no matter what? You get Green Room. Green Room, written and directed by Jeremy Saulnier, is anything short of an intense, terrifying and thrilling experience. We are given an hour and half of what Saulnier describes as “Punk Rock Action Mayhem.” Warning: before deciding to plan your next date to the theatre, know that the film may leave your partner with nightmares.
The film follows the punk rock band, “The Ain’t Rights,” portrayed by Anton Yelchin, Alia Shawkat, Callum Turner and Joe Coewe. The band finishes up a long and unsuccessful tour, motivated not by money but by the thrill of performing. Deciding to hold a concert inside of a white power bar located in the backwoods of Oregon, what should have been a quick gig quickly turns into something more sinister. They become witnesses to a horrific act of violence committed by the white power skinheads backstage. Wanting to get rid of all evidence, the skinheads hold the band hostage and they must fight for their lives to escape. This wrong-place-at-the-wrong-time scenario quickly turns into a life-or-death face-off.
It takes a lot of talent and knowledge to be able to create a film like the crime-horror-thriller that is Green Room. “I certainly was inspired by my youth. I was in the punk rock scene in Washington, D.C.…playing in bands and making movies so I fell in love with genre films at a very early age. I just kind of wanted to fuse those worlds together. I wanted to make movies set in the atmosphere and the texture of hardcore punk scene,” said Saulnier.
Having a background in the world of punk rock, Saulnier was able to pull from personal experiences to give us a cinematic wonder. “ A bunch of my buddies are still playing in rock and roll bands and I would go to concerts with them. I would interview them and just really keep my eyes and ears open and listen and I would jot down notes about dialogue and that sort of thing.” As for being able to brilliantly write his Neo-Nazi characters, Saulnier went on to say, “I sort of brushed up a few of them in the 1990s and they were present at shows I attended at Washington, D.C. so I knew of them, and I watched documentaries, but I didn’t really immerse myself in that culture.”
Green Room is definitely a blood rushing film and you may find yourself having to physically pry the hand clasped over your mouth by the end. Saulnier said the key to getting an audience’s blood rushing is simply “to ask them to participate” and “create characters that seem very relatable and human.” One notable character that will catch your eye is Darcy Banker, played by Patrick Stewart, most known for his roles in X-men and Star Trek. Playing head of a Neo-Nazi group, Stewart is able to deliver a transformative, intense and overall wonderful performance. Saulnier tells us why he casted Stewart in a role so different than his others: “He chooses you, you say yes. He wanted something new to try and I was actually really shocked that he took a leap of faith in me and this film. He’s just looking to stay active and stay interested and this allowed him the opportunity to do it.”
The gory scenes found in Green Room make the experience of the film all the more frightening and exciting. “It’s really intense and it’s brutal but that’s what they’re experiencing so it was what we had to experience to,” said Saulnier.
Jeremy Saulnier is not only a director, but writer, cinematographer and editor. As for his next project Saulnier said,“Right now I could never conceive of writing a film for somebody else. My next project will most likely be something I did not write and maybe it’ll be fun, maybe a bit of relief to not be responsible for every single moment and not generate the story and push it up hill until it’s a movie. Eventually I’ll write again because it’s just an amazing process and it’s really fun.”
Green Room is an emotional crime, horror and thrilling original film that is impossible to come across these days. Jeremy Saulnier is a brilliant writer and director and has created a true genre masterpiece. Green Room will be released April 29 and is a must see.