Horror film is more icky than scary

What It’s About

With its creepy “Deliverance” vibe, “Green Room” is a disturbing, unsettling horror film from one of the genre’s promising rising stars.

However, the thriller is challenging to watch. This showdown between a punk rock band and ruthless neo-Nazis in a remote woods in Oregon is gruesome and gory in a grungy, icky “Saw” way.

Its neverending parade of brutality includes box cutters, trained flesh-ripping dogs, guns, knives, blunt instruments and a fire extinguisher.

The sights and sounds are hampered every so often by dark rooms, insistence on natural light, and characters’ whispering or mumbling.

The story, tightly written by Saulnier, is interesting. A punk rock band called The Ain’t Rights is playing some tough gigs, traveling in a cramped van, and barely surviving on ramen noodles.

Desperate for income, they take a roadhouse job that sounds sketchy. But ever defiant, they treat the hostile skinhead audience to a Dead Kennedys song blasting Nazi punks. A cheeky move but not very wise.

Instead of leaving after getting paid, Pat (Anton Yelchin) saw something he wasn’t supposed to, and they’re held captive in the green room.

The leader of this shady supremist operation is Darcy Banker (an imposing Patrick Stewart), and he summons his minions to fix the situation.

But bandmates turn out to be smart and resourceful, striking back in a battle royale.


Stewart is menacing but could have been used more. His back story isn’t satisfactorily supplied so that we can understand the weapons, drugs and brotherhood aspects of his “movement.”

Yelchin (“Star Trek”) and Imogen Poots (“28 Weeks Later”) make a formidable team, but again, her character is rather enigmatic.

Macon Blair, memorable in Saulnier’s breakout film “Blue Ruin,” returns as a club manager following orders to protect Darcy’s turf.

Nevertheless, there are way too many hulking bearded dudes to keep who’s who straight.

What Works

The atmosphere is well-crafted, and provides an intense claustrophobic setting.

What Doesn’t Work

For those who like a plot that’s more detailed, and action that is easy to see, this movie is frustrating.

‘The Green Room’

  • Director: Jeremy Saulnier
  • Cast: Anton Yelchin, Patrick Stewart, Imogen Poots, Alia Shawkat, and Macon Blair
  • Rated R (strong brutal graphic violence, gory images, language and some drug content)
  • 94 minutes