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Green Room

It kind of excited me that a film of this ultra-violent horror genre was getting such stellar reviews. It's often dismissed as frivolous or obscene or something else negative. When star Patrick Stewart first read the script, he was so terrified and completely horrified by the character's actions that he had to take on the role, thus giving a little more screen cred and attention. I say thank you, sir!

In this film, an underground hardcore punk band, which includes Anton Yelchin and Alia Shawkat, book a last minute gig at some unknown club off the beaten path. On their way out after their set, they accidentally witness something they shouldn't have, incurring the attention and anger of the white supremacist owner (that's where Stewart comes in) and his fellow skinheads (in behavior if not necessarily appearance). The band is left fighting for their lives as they try to make their escape.

Had this been released ten years ago, it would have been quickly classified as torture porn and quickly swept under the rug. And that would have been a huge disservice to the film. Yes, the film is very violent, and yes some of it is gratuitous, but there's a realism to it that you don't find in torture porn. The blood isn't over the top or excessive. The things that happen and how they happen aren't a big stretch of the imagination. There's no crazy mastermind behind everything or unhinged psychopath wreaking havoc. Everything is calculated and intentioned. Something happens, people respond, things escalate, blood gets spilled, people die, these things happen.

The suspense comes out of the realism (and the minimalism) too. Our band is confined in a room in a club with no exit. There's some very angry and fighty people outside. What do you do? Where do you go? No one knows where they are. Hell, they hardly know where they are. It's scary and it's unsettling, and it's everything I want in this genre of a movie.

One thing I want to make clear. This write up isn't a blanket recommendation. There's certainly a subset of people that would never see this kind of film, a subset who absolutely would, and everyone in between. If you're in that first group, you'd do yourself a service to stay away. I'm mostly speaking to that next group and those who lean in that direction. If this kinda film is your jam, then jam on this way!

Green Room - \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/
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