Thursday, April 28, 2016

Enter this 'Green Room' at your peril

Some reviewers have deemed director Jeremy Saulnier's viscerally charged Green Room a masterwork of tension and gore, and just as many have praised Patrick Stewart's performance as a snarling neo-Nazi guru who doesn't hesitate to mutilate his enemies -- or have his skin-head minions do it for him. The premise: A financially strapped punk band called the Ain't Rights finds itself playing at a private club in the backwoods of Oregon. It doesn't take long before the band (Anton Yeltsin), Callum Turner, Joe Cole) and Alia Sawkat) understands that it's in way over its head. After realizing that there has been a murder on the premises, the band wants out; the punks and their leader won't allow any possible witnesses to their crime escape. The band is joined by a fellow prisoner (Imogen Poots), something of an independent spirit in this leather-clad hell. There's gore aplenty on the menu, and Saulnier (Blue Ruin) serves it up with grim relish. Sure there's menace here, and pervasive fear inspired by thugs who seem to have created a terrifying world of their own. But Saulnier's stylistic abilities are used to ill effect the more we see of the movie's collection of vicious dogs, box cutters, pistols and other instruments of torture. The movie's motto might be: If it can severed or slashed, by all means do it. Does showing gruesome violence with style make it less revolting? It didn't for me.

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