(Dir: Jeremy Saulnier, 2015)
Blue Ruin was up there with the best films I saw in 2014. It's a superior thriller that's not just tautly wound but superbly shot. By any level of rational thought you'd expect Jeremy Saulnier's follow up to be more of the same, but executed on a grander scale. Surprisingly with Green Room, the inverse is true. This is a survival film (or a siege film in some respect) that feels much more rough and ready, hardly original by any stretch of the imagination, but it's delivered with a savage aplomb that makes it hard not to enjoy, unless you're of a sensitive disposition. In order to best articulate why it is a good film, here are a number of reasons explaining why:
The catalyst for all this carnage is approached with a burst of chaos that explains why the situation is a total clusterfuck. The violence is sharply gruesome, and quite frankly, you want that layer of brutality in a film like this. The lead characters, forming this band are a likable ragtag of misfits and Anton Yelchin inhabits the role as band spokesperson and general lead nicely. Loud, aggressive music raging on in the background of a lot of scenes creates a very effective layer of menace that a score might not have otherwise afforded (it's very pleasing the more extreme side of the music was fully embraced and not toned down in order to make it more palatable for some). Macon Blair's was so good in Blue Ruin, that it's great to see him here too. Patrick Stewart running a far right klavern in the woods of the Pacific North West... obviously this is why a lot of people might choose to watch this film, and he's very believable in his rationalised ruthlessness. The way Dead Kennedy's Nazi Punks Fuck Off is (inevitably) included in the film is inspired.
In conclusion, Green Room is a good film. It doesn't offer anything revelatory, but you do get a fine example of what a film of this nature should be - it's skewed angle (punk band vs white supremacists) gives it personality, even if it's hard to care much beyond hoping someone makes it out alive. It's loud, it's savage, but Blue Ruin is definitely the better film (not that that really matters).