Green Room
Green Room
Anton Yelchin as Pat

Green Room: Cringeworthy

Riley Riley

A “green room” is a lounge area where performers hang out before and after a performance, usually on the stage or television.

But you probably already know that. What you mightn’t know, is that it is also the name of a 2015 horror film starring Star Trek’s Captain Picard, Patrick Stewart — sorry, Sir Patrick Stewart.

Stewart plays Darcy Banker, the leader of a chapter of neo-nazi skinheads who close ranks after a murder at their compound during a performance by a touring band called Ain’t Rights.

The murder is discovered after one of the band members returns to the green room to retrieve a mobile phone.

The band are bundled into the room and instructed to stay there while the police are called and the matter is sorted out.

What they don’t know, however, is that the police haven’t been called and that the skinheads are plotting a cover up that involves getting rid of them and their van.

The rest is a fight for their lives.

Green Room was written and directed by Jeremy Saulnier and produced by Neil Kopp, Victor Moyers and Anish Savjani.

Along with Stewart it stars Anton YelchinJoe Cole and Imogen Poots.

Stewart was reportedly scared out of his wits by the script.

He locked his house, turned on the security system and poured himself a Scotch.

He knew right away that he had to play the role of Banker because a character that horrifying would be an incredible challenge and make a compelling movie.

The film apparently originated from Saulnier’s obsession to make a thriller set in a green room.

He had created a short film as part of a 48-hour film challenge in 2007 which he described as: “Really kind of fun and hammy.”

But he still wanted a chance to do his green room movie “the right way”.

Although Green Room features plenty of violence and what Saulnier calls “full frontal gore”, he says it is not “sadistic” and that every act of violence apart from the initial incident has a reason

What’s even more interesting is that Saulnier, who used to play in a punk band, wanted the film to “stand the test of real musicians.”

For that he enlisted Hutch Harris of the American indie rock band The Thermals to teach the actors the musical parts they would be performing.

The film’s soundtrack is largely populated by heavy metal artists like Midnight rather than white nationalist bands.

Saulnier says he wanted the club to have a Motörhead-like atmosphere, but that he had no intention of financially supporting white nationalist artists.

In addition to tracks on the soundtrack, Green Room features several other punk and metal numbers, including Fear‘s “Legalize Drugs” (1995), Napalm Death‘s “Suffer the Children” (1990), Obituary‘s “Paralyzed with Fear” (2014), Poison Idea‘s “Taken By Surprise” (1990), Slayer‘s “War Ensemble” (1990), and Bad Brains‘ “Right Brigade” (1982).

Mixing horror with humour, a running gag throughout the film sees band members joking about what music they would want if they were stuck on a desert island.

Initially, it’s Black Sabbath, The Misfits, The Damned and Cro-mags.

But as things go from bad to worse their choices change.

Tiger: “What about Steely Dan?

“Hmmm. No, Candlebox. Britney Spears. Simon and Garfunkel.

“Desert island band. Prince.

“I, uh… I’m still The Misfits.

Reece: “True school, man.”

The first few minutes of the film will have you wondering whether you have made the right choice.

Stick with it. Trust me, you have.

Saulnier’s other films include the crowdfunded Blue Ruin (2013), about a man who plots to kill the man who murdered is parents 20 years earlier.

Saulnier’s not prolific, but what he lacks in quantity he makes up for with quality.

You can catch Green Room on SBS On Demand.


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Time out score

Final thoughts . . .

It’ll make you cringe.


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