Green Room (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Jeremy Saulnier|
|Written by||Jeremy Saulnier|
|Edited by||Julia Bloch|
|Box office||$3.8 million|
Green Room is a 2015 American horror-thriller film written and directed by Jeremy Saulnier, and produced by Neil Kopp, Victor Moyers and Anish Savjani. Starring Anton Yelchin, Joe Cole, Imogen Poots and Patrick Stewart, the film focuses on a punk band who find themselves attacked by neo-Nazi skinheads after witnessing a murder at a remote club in the Pacific Northwest. The film came from Saulnier's desire to direct a thriller set in a green room.
Principal photography took place during October 2014 in Portland, Oregon. The film was financed and produced by Broad Green Pictures. Green Room was screened in the Directors' Fortnight section at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. At the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, the film finished third in the balloting for the Grolsch People's Choice Midnight Madness Award. The film began a limited release on April 15, 2016, before being widely released on May 13 through A24. It appeared on many critics' lists as one of the best films of 2016 and received a 2017 Empire Award nomination for Best Horror, but grossed just $3 million against a budget of $5 million.
Pat, Sam, Reece and Tiger are members of a punk band, the Ain't Rights, travelling through the Pacific Northwest. After their gig is cancelled, local radio host Tad arranges a show through his cousin, Daniel, at a neo-Nazi skinhead bar in the woods outside Portland, opening for NSBM band Cowcatcher. They don't realize they are going to this type of venue until they arrive.
After the show, Pat returns to the green room to retrieve Sam's phone and sees the body of a girl, Emily, who has been stabbed to death by Werm, a member of Cowcatcher. Pat calls the police, but bar employees Gabe and Big Justin confiscate the band's phones and hold them captive in the green room. Gabe pays a skinhead to stab another to create a cover story for the police who respond to the call. He consults with the bar owner and skinhead leader Darcy, who decides to kill the band to eliminate witnesses. The band is then stuck in the green room until help can arrive, with very few exits.
The band eventually overpowers Big Justin and holds him hostage, taking a boxcutter from his pocket and his pistol. They negotiate through the door with Darcy, who asks them to surrender the pistol. Pat agrees, but as he opens the door, Emily's friend Amber realizes it is a trap and shouts. Darcy and his men slash at Pat's arm with machetes until he drops the gun, but he closes the door. Big Justin attacks the band, but Reece chokes him into unconsciousness. When Big Justin surprises Reece by awaking again, Reece chokes him while Amber slashes his stomach open with the boxcutter.
Searching for a way out, the band discovers an underground drug lab, but the only exit is locked from the outside. Arming themselves with improvised weapons, they exit the green room into the empty club, but neo-Nazi Clark unleashes an attack dog, which kills Tiger. Amber and Pat drive the dog away with microphone feedback. Reece flees through a window but is stabbed to death by a skinhead.
Pat, Amber, and Sam retreat to the green room. Darcy sends Daniel into the club to kill the band, who Darcy claims murdered Emily. Amber tells Daniel that Werm murdered Emily after discovering Daniel and Emily planned to leave the skinheads. Daniel agrees to help them escape and leads the band into the club, where he is shot dead by the club's bartender. The group kills the bartender and takes his shotgun, but Clark's dog kills Sam. Darcy's men wound Amber, who scrambles back to the green room with Pat.
Darcy sends skinheads Jonathan and Kyle to kill Pat and Amber, and he leaves with the bodies, planning to stage their deaths to appear as if they were killed trespassing. Pat lures Jonathan into the drug lab while Kyle remains in the green room. Amber ambushes and cuts Kyle's throat with the boxcutter, killing him. As Pat fights Jonathan, Amber sneaks up and shoots him. Gabe enters the green room to find his companions dead and surrenders to Pat and Amber.
Holding Gabe at gunpoint, they trek through the woods. When Pat hears Darcy and his men staging the crime scene, he and Amber go after them. Gabe volunteers to go into a nearby farm and call the police. Pat and Amber kill skinheads Clark and Alan. Fleeing, Darcy pulls a revolver from his jacket but is shot dead by Pat and Amber. Their ammunition and energy spent, Pat and Amber sit on the side of the road and wait for the police.
- Anton Yelchin as Pat, the bassist of the Ain't Rights
- Imogen Poots as Amber, Emily's friend and witness to her murder
- Alia Shawkat as Sam, the guitarist of the Ain't Rights
- Joe Cole as Reece, the drummer of the Ain't Rights
- Callum Turner as Tiger, the singer of the Ain't Rights
- Patrick Stewart as Darcy Banker, the leader of the skinheads
- Macon Blair as Gabe, a skinhead and club employee
- Mark Webber as Daniel, a skinhead and Tad's cousin in a relationship with Emily
- Kai Lennox as Clark, a skinhead and attack dog trainer
- Eric Edelstein as Big Justin, a skinhead bouncer
- David W. Thompson as Tad, a radio host and promoter
- Brent Werzner as Werm, a member of Cowcatcher and Emily's murderer
- Taylor Tunes as Emily, a female skinhead and Amber's friend who has been murdered by Werm.
- Samuel Summer as Jonathan, a skinhead
- Mason Knight as Kyle, a skinhead
- Colton Ruscheinsky as Alan, a skinhead
- Jacob Kasch as the bartender
The film came from Saulnier's desire to create a thriller set in a green room, calling the idea "an obsession". Saulnier created a short film set in one as part of a 48-hour film challenge in 2007 which involved the supernatural and according to Saulnier was "Really kind of fun and hammy." However, he still wanted a chance to do his green room movie "the right way". Although the film features a large amount of violence and what Saulnier calls "full frontal gore", he has gone on record as stating that it is not "sadistic", and that every act of violence apart from the initiating incident is done with a reason. As such Saulnier made sure that there were no "gratuitous close ups" of recently deceased characters.
On May 22, 2014, it was announced that Broad Green Pictures would finance and produce the film directed and written by Jeremy Saulnier, with Film Science. Anish Savjani, Neil Kopp and Victor Moyers would produce the film. On October 16, Anton Yelchin and Imogen Poots joined the lead cast of the film, along with Alia Shawkat, Callum Turner, Joe Cole, Macon Blair and Mark Webber. On October 21, Patrick Stewart was added to the cast to play Darcy Banker, the leader of a violent white supremacist group, while other cast includes Kai Lennox, Eric Edelstein and Taylor Tunes.
Principal photography began in October 2014 in Portland, Oregon. The location for Tad's house was in Astoria, Oregon, on the Oregon coast, and the forest scenes were filmed in the Mount Hood National Forest.
On October 29, 2014, WestEnd Films acquired the international rights to the film. The film had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on May 17, 2015. Shortly after, it was announced A24 Films had acquired distribution rights to the film. The film screened on opening night of the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, on September 10, 2015.
The film was originally to open in a limited release on April 1, 2016, before opening in a wide release on April 15, 2016. However, it was moved to April 15, in limited release, and May 13 wide. According to Box Office Mojo, Green Room opened at #30 in its limited release, premiering in 3 theaters, culminating over $87,984. In its official wide release, the film premiered at 777 theaters, taking the #16 rank on opening weekend, and grossing more than $411,376.
On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes the film holds an approval rating of 91% based on 236 reviews, with an average rating of 7.7/10. The site's critical consensus reads: "Green Room delivers unapologetic genre thrills with uncommon intelligence and powerfully acted élan." Metacritic reports a weighted average score of 79 out of 100, based on 42 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times praised Patrick Stewart, Imogen Poots, Alia Shawkat and Macon Blair's performances and called the film "a wonderfully nasty, gruesome, jagged-edge gem of a horror film" that has "first-rate" cinematography, set design, soundtrack, and editing. Barry Hertz of The Globe and Mail awarded it a full four stars and wrote, "Jeremy Saulnier (Murder Party, Blue Ruin) continues one of the best streaks in independent horror with this terrifying and inventive thriller." Lenika Cruz of The Atlantic said it's "a tense gore-fest, one that’s as grimy and claustrophobic as the titular room. But scrape off the scum, and you’ll find Green Room full of visual artistry, dark humor, smart writing, and glints of humanity". Jon Niccum of The Kansas City Star said it "bleeds authenticity — from the scraggy look of the performers to the harsh sounds of their environment to the distinctive squalor that becomes the day-to-day life of those traveling together in a cramped van." IGN awarded it a score of 9 out of 10, saying, "This follow-up to the brilliant Blue Ruin pits a rock band against white supremacists with ace, ultra-violent results."
Jeffrey Bloomer of Slate favorably compared the film's "genre maturity", "amoral survivalism and malleable sense of good and evil", "brutal efficiency" and "weary humor" to John Carpenter's Assault on Precinct 13 and praised the cast, writing "If the world knows any justice[...] then the Screen Actors Guild will remember this cast when it doles out its awards next year". James Berardinelli concludes the film is "for anyone who enjoys sitting through 90 tense minutes and feeling the attendant adrenaline rush. It’s like a well-constructed horror movie" that's "As intimate as it is unnerving". Guy Lodge of Variety called it "a technically sharp backwoods horror-thriller that lacks a human element". Leslie Felperin of The Hollywood Reporter wrote that it's entertaining but "less disciplined, less original and less memorable work than Blue Ruin".
|2015||Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival||H.R. Giger «Narcisse» Award||Green Room||Won|||
|Audience Award||Green Room||Won|
|Denis-de-Rougemont Youth Award||Green Room||Won|
|Deauville Film Festival||Grand Prix||Green Room||Nominated|||
|Toronto International Film Festival||Grolsch People's Choice Midnight Madness Award||Green Room||3rd place|||
|Austin Fantastic Fest||Audience Award||Green Room||1st place|||
|Festival du nouveau cinéma||Temps Ø People's Choice Award||Green Room||Won|||
|IndieWire Critics' Poll||Most Anticipated Film of 2016||Green Room||3rd place|||
|2016||BloodGuts UK Horror Awards||Best Original Film||Green Room||Nominated|||
|Best Actor||Anton Yelchin||Nominated|||
|Best Screenplay/Script||Jeremy Saulnier||Nominated|||
|National Board of Review Awards||Top Ten Independent Films||Green Room||Won|||
|Fright Meter Awards||Best Horror Movie||Green Room||Nominated|||
|Best Actor in a Leading Role||Anton Yelchin||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actress||Imogen Poots||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actor||Patrick Stewart||Nominated|
|2017||Fangoria Chainsaw Awards||Best Film||Green Room||Nominated|||
|Best Actor||Anton Yelchin||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actor||Patrick Stewart||Nominated|
|Best Makeup & SFX||Wayne Eaton||Won|
|Empire Awards||Best Horror||Green Room||Nominated|||
|Seattle Film Critics Awards||Best Villain||Patrick Stewart||Nominated|||
Top ten lists
Green Room was listed on many film critics' top ten lists.
- 2nd – Josh Bell, Las Vegas Weekly
- 3rd – Nick Schager, Esquire
- 3rd – Jesse Hassenger, The A.V. Club
- 3rd – Jon Niccum, The Kansas City Star
- 4th – Eric D. Snider, Salt Lake City Weekly
- 4th – A.A. Dowd, The A.V. Club
- 4th – Katie Rife, The A.V. Club
- 4th – Rob Hunter, Film School Rejects
- 5th – Steve Davis, The Austin Chronicle
- 5th – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club
- 5th – Jacob Oller, RogerEbert.com
- 5th – Alan Zilberman, rogerebert.com
- 6th – Andrew Wright, Salt Lake City Weekly
- 6th – Mark Dujsik, rogerebert.com
- 7th – Marc Doyle, Metacritic
- 7th – Haleigh Foutch, Collider
- 7th – Jen Yamato, The Daily Beast
- 7th – Sean Mulvihill, rogerebert.com
- 8th – David Chen, /Film
- 8th – Jacob Hall, /Film
- 9th – Josh Kupecki, The Austin Chronicle
- 9th – Robert Horton, Seattle Weekly
- 9th – Jason Bailey, Flavorwire
- 10th – Vince Mancini, Uproxx
Lionsgate, as the home media distributor of A24 releases, released Green Room on Blu-ray and DVD on July 12, 2016. The end credits of the film's home media and subsequent releases feature an addended dedication to the memory of star Yelchin, who died on June 19, 2016.
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