Director: Jeremy Saulnier (Blue Ruin)
Synopsis: A cash-strapped punk band stumble upon a last-resort gig at a remote Oregon clubhouse; which turns out to be the nexus of a fearsome Neo-Nazi cult. After witnessing an incident backstage, they find themselves embroiled in a bloody internal conflict they may not survive.
Performances: The ensemble cast don't put a foot wrong with a set of believable and solid performances. Lots of familiar faces including Mark Webber (Scott Pilgrim), Joe Cole (Peaky Blinders) and Imogen Poots (28 Weeks Later). The latter is especially good here. Director Jeremy Saulnier once again reunites with his Blue Ruin star Macon Blair; in a smaller role this time while the late Anton Yelchin (RIP) takes centre stage. Most striking perhaps however is Patrick Stewart in a wonderful opportunity for the latter to play against his normal type. It's hard to get to grips with his performance; so ingrained is his benevolent, Shakespearean Englishness that its quite jarring. I'd have liked to spend more time with his character to really see him get his teeth into it.
What works: As a fan of Blue Ruin this offers something of a similar tone, and as such is a lot less generic you might expect. Nonetheless, it's very bloody, very tense, and like the director's previous film, it has a harrowingly realistic feel with characters reacting and behaving more like real people (they panic, they break down, they mess up) than your usual movie protagonists.
What doesn't: Despite the premise, the Nazi cult isn't explored and so we don't get to know the characters as thoroughly as we might have. This is especially true of Patrick Stewart's Darcy, who perhaps doesn't get the screen time he might need to really sell his character.
Summary: A wire-taut, gripping, immersive and extremly violent horror-thriller, Green Room is a superb follow up to Blue Ruin that makes one anxious to see what Jeremy Saulnier does next. Fortunately, there's plenty more colours in the rainbow.
See it if you liked: Blue Ruin, Panic Room, Phone Booth, Hostel