A fairly lacksidaisical beginning introduces us to the band The Ain't Rights - a fledgling punk band driving aimlessly down the Pacific east coast, drifting from one gig to another, living hand to mouth and generally living the punk dream. A gig falls into their lap and after their set, one slight error of judgement sees the band holed up in the titular area of the club, engaged in a siege with a group of neo-Nazi's led by Jean-Luc Picard's much angrier older brother.
As an exercise in ratcheting up the tension, its an utter masterclass - from the minute that green room door slams shut at the 20 minute mark, your breath is caught in your throat for the remaining 70 mins. Its an absorbing tale, helped by two key elements:
1. The realism of both the characters and the events sells this far more than anything else ever could. From the almost impenetrable dialogue of the skinheads, to the shockingly brutal but never glorified violence on show, this reality of the situation makes the situation almost unbearable; and
2. Jeremy Saulnier has the confidence in both his script and his actors to embellish the film with some utterly captivating imagery - from the montage of ecstasy during The Ain't Rights set (slowing the violent pogoing right down and underscoring it with a lilting soundtrack, shows the utter beauty these people see in the most violent and brutal of places) to the slow motion following of a dog at its climax, he directs the living crap out of the material, again his confidence seeping through into the viewers confidence in buying into the story.
Its not perfect - a very misjudged phone call at a moment in time no-one in their right mind would contemplate doing so shatters the illusion of utter realism, while its ending, while perfectly in keeping with the reality of the world, just seems too 'small' for the film that's gone before it - but its world and its style give this a freshness that keeps the viewer on the edge of their seat for its entire duration. Cracking and powerful stuff.
The transfer is pretty darn great - the image is swathed in darkness and whilst I don't think the image was crushed, its difficult to ascertain the quality of the image when so mush of it is just blackness! There's certainly no digital tizzing or any other form of general image nastiness going on. The lossless 5.1 surround track conveys the music in the film perfectly - the bands with cruddy PAs in sonically awful rooms SOUND like bands with cruddy PAs playing in sonically awful rooms. There's no other real sonic highlights other than the realistic sounding gunshots and all in, its not got a demo worthy mix by any means, but it sounds perfectly reasonable for its material. Extras amount to a disappointing 10 min BTS featurette that is more EPK than interesting and an audio commentary. which unfortunately means it wont get listed to (thanks life!).
Summary - do not watch this after a long, stressful day at work or with the kids! A nailbiting exercise in pure tension that gives us a different world and characters that we're used to, which makes the whole thing feel fresh and vital. The transfer is pretty good (although don't expect aural or visual perfection here), although extras are disappointing. Thoroughly recommended for those with a strong stomach.
Green Room User Review
The colour of tension.......Review of Green Room blu-ray by Coz22998, Sep 25, 2016.This item was purchased for £12.99 from HMV in 2016. The reviewer still owns this product.