Oh boy, a slasher film. My favorite! *sarcasm* No, as many of you know, horror isn’t my favorite genre. They all follow the same formula: stupid people, making stupid choices, getting other stupid people killed. Nothing to invest in other than satisfying a primal urge to see graphic violence. So, like most horror movies, I wanted to stay away from this. But I hate not having an opinion on movies that I haven’t seen, and I’m a glutton for punishment. Also, the cast seemed pretty solid. Patrick Stewart, Anton Yelchin, and Imogen Poots. I was really hoping they would save it. You never know, right?
This is my honest opinion of: GREEN ROOM
A punk rock band is touring in Oregon and playing their music when they catch the attention of a local radio host. Meeting them personally, he lands them a gig in a night bar deep in the woods. Turns out, it’s for a bunch of neo-Nazis. Needing the money, they decide to play the gig anyway. When they complete their set and are about to take off, one of the band members, Sam (Alia Shawkat), accidently forgets her phone in the green room. Deciding to get it for her, Pat (Anton Yelchin), comes into the room and sees a bouncer, and two patrons, one of them dead with a knife in her head. Forced to stick around, the band is then marked for extermination as witnesses.
The pitch of this movie must have been genius. “It’s a slasher horror movie. It takes place in the woods (cliche as fuck), but it takes place in a club for neo-Nazis, led by Patrick Stewart. There’s death metal playing in the background. This band that plays there witnesses a murder and now the neo-Nazis have to kill the band for what they saw.” Seriously, this could have been a pretty awesome and bad-ass movie.
Unfortunately, its delivery is fairly standard as far as slasher films are concerned.
The first problem that comes to mind is having neo-Nazis. Not that this is a bad thing in itself. They’re an easily disliked group and there’s room to really make them frightening and or despised. Here’s the problem though. The absolute first thing you think a neo-Nazi would hate is anyone black, gay, or Jewish. None of our protagonists are black, neither are they revealed to be Jewish or gay. But lets pretend that I wasn’t paying attention to the flick and at least one of the characters really is gay or Jewish. Well, that’s great and all, but that’s not why these folks are about to be killed off. They’re being killed because they witnessed a murder and discovered a drug operation. So… where does the neo-Nazi thing come in? How does that make these guys even more dangerous or scary? If you want to play off of the neo-Nazi thing, fine, then take out the drug peddling, forget about witnessing a murder, just make these protagonists gay or Jewish. Motivations set, and instant sympathy with minimal effort required. Having these established antagonists as neo-Nazis just seems like they were trying too hard to make them more evil.
Another element, which would easily have given this film a legit cult following was the death metal in the background. Man, I was basically expecting the score of the movie to be nothing but that. How unique would that be for a slasher film like this? Metal is an extreme kind of music. Insert that in an extreme situation like this, you’d have to try to make that not work. Well, they didn’t try… at all. Yeah, the bar gets closed down and the patrons eventually leave. You know what that does to the setting? Makes it a run-of-the-mill horror building with minimal lighting. You know, like every horror movie that exists!
Now let’s talk about Stewart. What the hell did they do to Stewart?? This man was Captain Picard, Professor Xavier, lent his voice to FAMILY GUY for years! How did he get relegated to playing such a boring and uninteresting bad guy?! At no point do I think this man is working urgently or under duress. He just seems like a guy who’s mildly annoyed with the situation and gets surprisingly calmer as the movie progresses. He never showcases any emotion or any real frustration when shit doesn’t go according to plan. He’s just a common business dude, but without the flare. For shame, Jeremy Saulnier! How dare you write such a sub-par role for this legendary cueball!
“Delivers maximum shock and awe”?? What are we talking about there? The violence? The violence isn’t that bad, guys! I’ve seen throats being sliced in movies before. I’ve seen people get shot in the face before. This violence is nothing new. I’ve seen Dolph Lundgren shoot a gun that tore a mother fucker in half in THE EXPENDABLES. I’ve seen Sylvester Stallone fire a .50 caliber machine gun that literally shredded mother fuckers to pieces in RAMBO (2008). I’ve played video games like MORTAL KOMBAT and DEAD SPACE. I’ve seen panels of comic books of Wolverine being ripped in half by Hulk, and the Blob cannibalizing Wasp with her intestines hanging out of her body as he’s saying “tastes like chicken.” The most standout deaths in this movie are a dog eating a dude’s throat, and a shotgun to the face. Bored out of my mind here, guys.
Is there any redeeming value to the movie? Meh. There’s some smart moments here and there, like having a couple of young neo-Nazi kids purposely stab his brother and purposely get arrested to keep the cops away. But… that’s it. Everything else is completely forgettable about this movie. I don’t even recommend this flick to violence junkies or lovers of gore porn because it’s been done better in other films and been more graphic in others as well. I think it’s obvious that my one viewing of this movie is more than enough and have no interest in seeing it again.
My honest rating for GREEN ROOM: 2/5
Keep an eye out for next weeks batch of films: