Best of the Week: Green Room

Out of the 10 movies that I watched this week, Green Room stands out as the most memorable, but that is because of a lot more than just the shock value that this film had- this may be weird to say, but this is a beautiful film, in the strangest of ways. Green Room is directed by Jeremy Saulnier and stars Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, and Patrick Stewart among others in a very chilling story about fighting for survival. At the beginning of the film, we meet a thrash-metal band who tours to small hole-in-the-wall venues trying to make a buck and share their music. One venue they go to seems to be lead by white supremacists, and after their set is over, they witness a murder that forces the killers to hold them hostage until they can figure out what to do with these witnesses. It doesn’t take long for the blood bath to begin, and this film holds you tight and doesn’t loosen up until the credits roll. Even after then, I still felt the intensity that this film provided, and it has been something that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about since watching it.

As mentioned, this is a film in which characters fight for their lives – a very simple plot. The simplicity of this film is one of its strongest attributes as it manages to stay completely unpredictable because the film is only about characters living or dying. And man, do they die; Saulnier is not afraid to kill off anybody that he wants, and that fact makes this film extremely hard to watch at times. Your favorite character might get his or her head sliced off with no warning, and the reason that this has such a great effect, again is NOT just shock value, but that we’ve grown to like these characters. Of course, we don’t want to see the characters that we like die but the way that some of them do die just makes us side with them more since we hate the antagonists more.

About a month ago, I named this film as my favorite horror film of 2016 (my Top 5 Horror Films of 2016 post) but I’m usually not a huge fan off horror films (my it’s my Least Favorite Genre post). The reason that horror films are my least favorite movie genre is because they’re usually predictable, and they don’t build the character enough to care about. In a horror film, the characters are the most important part as we have to feel for them in their situation for the scares to be effective. In this film, that is achieved beautifully thanks to the writing and performances. Yelchin and Poots deliver fantastically as two terrified kids fighting to survive along with the other actors, and Stewart shows his dark and demented side, and he does it perfectly. I never thought I’d see Patrick Stewart scare the hell out of me, but his intimidating and heartless nature in this film did just that.

Not knowing what to expect while watching this film is the best way to go in: this is like Jaws but with Nazis instead of sharks. It’s tough to sit through without grimacing and it’s hard to watch with a weak stomach, but it’s well worth your time. The beautiful cinematography captures everything with a mesmerizing aesthetic, and the performances carry the with swiftness and “grace,” if I can say that here. Like Perri Nemiroff said, there’s nothing like watching a cast of characters that you grow to love get picked off one by one in a horrifying blood bath, more or less; she’s right, that makes for the best horror because the audience has no clue who will live and who will die, and with these characters that are all seemingly innocent and relatable, we feel for them, and fear for them, at every moment in this story. It’s a horror film for the ages, and one that will spawn many knock-offs and what-n0t’s that will never live up to the quality that this film boasts. See it, see it if you dare. I’m going to give Green Room an 8+/10, and a green recommendation – it’s not for the faint of heart but it’s a horror film that should definitely be watched. What about you? Have you seen this film? As always, thanks for reading, share if you liked this, comment your thoughts, and I’ll see you soon!

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