When you listen to interviews with musical artist you often here the “desert island question.” You know the one about if you can only take one album with you on a desert island, what would it be? The question is pretty stupid figuring if you were actually on a desert island there is no way you are going to be able to choose what music you have if any. However crazy that question is, in the end it is just a way to discover who your ‘go to’ artist is. Back to our “desert island question”, I bring it up, because it plays a role in Jeremy Saulnier’s new film “Green Room”.
While the film does not take place on a desert island, it does involve an interview of a band, where this question is asked. The band we speak of is in town for a performance that gets screwed up, so the promoter throws them a show that they can make some easy money on. Pat (Anton Yelchin) is the bass player, with Sam (Alia Shawkat), Tiger (Callum Turner), and Reece (Joe Cole) filling out the rest of the band. Now that you have met the band, the venue they go to is inhabited with a group of skinheads, which is not a problem until the band witnesses a murder, and then things start to get tense. The band is locked up in a room, not knowing what is going on, except there is a dead body and they can’t leave. Meanwhile outside the room, Darcy (Patrick Stewart), the owner of the establishment is called and he quickly goes into containment mode as he wants everything handled quietly and quickly. What follows is a tale of survival as the band tries to escape with their lives.
If you caught 2013’s “Blue Ruin” you know what writer/director Jeremy Saulnier can do. Besides his love of colors in his titles, Saulnier knows how to spin one helluva yarn . While ‘Ruin’ dealt with revenge and the complications that come with that when you have no idea what you are doing, here it is a matter of survival when these two differing worlds collide, and it is just as intense. The performances are all good, add to that Patrick Stewart as a really bad man, please make it so. With the right cast on hand Saulnier puts them in a position to succeed with a great script and direction, as his story keeps your attention the whole time. The violence is sudden and brutal in its simplicity, which gives it that realistic feel as in his previous effort. “Green Room” is one of those movies that doesn’t just end when the screens fades to black, instead it grabs a hold and keeps you thinking about it long after the credits have rolled. I am a fan on Saulnier, and look forward to whatever he decides to do next, until that time though take a trip to the “Green Room” then sit back and watch the brilliance that unfolds before your eyes and stays in your head.