A little less than a month ago the film world was rocked by the tragic loss of Anton Yelchin. An actor who was just scratching the surface of his full potential, his death reminded us all how unpredictable and short life can be. Fortunately, Yelchin’s legacy will never be forgotten as left behind a strong and diverse catalogue of films for us to revisit for years to come. One such film is Jeremy Saulnier’s harrowing white-knuckle thriller Green Room, which hit Blu-ray and DVD this week courtesy of D Films.
Taking the wrong place at the wrong tropes in a chilling new direction, Saulnier’s follow up to Blue Ruin is an exercise in sustained tension. When a struggling punk band accidentally witnesses a murder at a bar they performed at, they find themselves in a fight for their lives against a group of skinheads led by the bar’s owner Darcy (Patrick Stewart). Trapped in a nightmare that gets increasingly darker by the minute, the band must race against time if they hope to make it out alive.
One of the elements that makes Green Room such a gripping thriller is the way it continually keeps the audience off-guard. Similar to the band members themselves, Saulnier keeps the audience in a constant state of uncertainty. As characters enter the film, we are unsure who is friend or foe. In some cases, those same individuals meet jaw-dropping demises before the viewer has even had time to process the way their potential presence will impact the narrative moving forward. It is in these stunning moments that Saulnier’s dark humor really shines through. He keeps the audience one the edge of their seats while making them laugh at the most uncomfortable moments.
Though the performances from the ensemble are stellar all around-Yelchin, Alia Shawkat and Saulier regular Macon Blair are especial good-it is Patrick Stewart’s tour de force turn as the menacing Darcy that truly takes the film over the top. In his brief moments on screen, Stewart brings a chilling calmness to a man who always seems one step away from seriously losing his cool. One cannot help but wish Stewart had been given an even bigger role in the film. Green Room is a film that offers a terrifying adrenaline rush to the system. It is another example of why Jeremy Saulnier is one of the most interesting filmmakers working in the industry today.
Special Features include:
- “Into the Pit: Making of Green Room” featurette
- Audio commentary with writer/director Jeremy Saulnier