Punk v Nazi thriller from the mind that brought you Blue Ruin
Green Room, Jeremy Saulnier’s follow-up to Blue Ruin, trades the latter’s revenge thriller territory for the mode of siege movie – albeit one with a twist along the lines of Blue Ruin’s architect of revenge being an inept, hangdog vagrant. Here the besieged party is a young punk band trapped in the green room of a backwoods club they’ve begrudgingly agreed to play. The party keeping them from leaving? The club's very far-right staff, including proprietor Darcy (Stewart, in a wonderful piece of stunt casting), after the band witnesses a crime the neo-Nazi group’s extremely keen to cover up.
The specifics of Green Room are best left unspoiled beyond that basic set-up, for Saulnier has crafted a nerve-shredding exercise in tension, and occasional outright horror, with a mean streak that never comes across like shallow excess. It may not aim for profundity regarding violence in the way Blue Ruin does, but with its tight, economic storytelling (Assault on Precinct 13 is a worthy comparison), it’s arguably better for keeping things simple and scary.