Movie Review - Green Room

A few people were confused walking out Black Swan, as it was a bit of a mind-bender. This film isn't a mind-bender. It's more a straight-forward horror. However, walking out of this, I was way more confused than I ever was walking out Black Swan, which for me was not at all. Black Swan wasn't a problem, but this movie confused the Hell out of me. The inciting incident isn't explained in a way that would invoke interest and no back story or exploration of the characters is ever given. It keeps the movie from ever rising above B-movie status or even C-movie status. It's probably more appropriate grindhouse material, if less than that. Most movie-goers who enjoy horror will likely settle for the basic shocks and thrills, as well as the blood and gore that is provided here. Most will settle for it because they will have no choice. There's nothing else. The performances are fine, but nothing more special than in plenty of B-movie horrors. The chief failing is that the characters aren't developed, so I didn't care about them, not a single one, so I didn't care who lives or who dies, thus I didn't care about the movie.

The premise is that a new, struggling, rock band witnesses a murder in the green room or back room of a nightclub, owned by white supremacists or Neo-Nazis in the American Northwest somewhere. The band then has to fight for survival as the white supremacists set out to kill the entire band and cover-up the murders. The movie is almost too short as there is just not enough done to get to know the characters on either side. The first act is about establishing the band and giving a broad idea of who they are but it's not enough. It's so bad that I didn't even learn any of their names.

Patrick Stewart co-stars as Darcy, the owner of the nightclub and leader of the white supremacists. Stewart's performance is good as Stewart always is, but there are hints to his character that suggested something greater or more interesting. The first act would have been better if it had included or been instead an introduction of Darcy and his day-to-day or life prior to all of this. Did he have a family or any interests or other goals? Otherwise, he's playing a stock, evil guy with little nuance. There was a documentary last year called Welcome to Leith that chronicled white supremacist Craig Cobb in North Dakota. That movie was way more exciting and unnerving than this.

Writer-director Jeremy Saulnier does a good job of designing this thriller of people trapped in a confined space against impossible odds. He perhaps over-does it with the over-abundance of the color green in a lot of the shots. Yet, without caring about those people because you don't know those people, then all of it is a gigantic waste of time. That's unfortunately what this movie becomes.

Two Stars out of Five.
Rated R for strong brutal graphic violence, gory images, language and some drug content.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 34 mins.


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