Follow us on

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Green Room

July 11th, 2016

Green Room - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Video on Demand

Green Room

Green Room open with strong buzz, it earned stunning reviews, and it opened really well. However, it struggled as it tried to expand and by the time it was nationwide, its per theater average was below $2,000. Is this something that will only appeal to critics like many other limited releases I’ve reviewed? Or is there another reason it failed to find a mainstream audience?

The Movie

We begin with an introduction to the band, “The Ain’t Rights”, who are in a van, which is crashed in a corn field. There’s Pat, the one who woke up first, and Tiger, the one who was driving when they crashed, as well as Sam and Reece. The good news is that the “crash” was about as mild as you can get. They didn’t hit anything and just rolled to a stop in a corn field. The bad news is the engine was running all night, or at least until it ran out of gas. Sam checks her phone and sees there’s a skating rink nearby, which is good news, because skating rinks have large parking lots. Why is a large parking lot good news when you are out of gas in a corn field? Because a big parking lot means lots of cars to siphon gas from. Clearly they’ve done this before, which is a sign that “The Ain’t Rights” haven’t had their big break yet.

The band does get an interview with Tad, who works at a college radio station. They talk about their social media presence, or lack thereof. They feel that music needs to be felt in the moment as it’s played live. That if you record it, especially if you digitize it, then you lose something. The interview goes well, but the gig that was supposed to go along with it had to be canceled and his make-up show is a bust. He does offer them another show, which is at an out of the way club. It turns out, it’s a skinhead bar, but Tad does inform the band ahead of time. He tells them to stick with his cousin, Daniel, and to avoid talking politics. A poor choice of songs nearly results in the band starting a riot, with them as a the prime target, but they turn things around and it looks like a really successful gig.


They get paid their money and go, but just as they are leaving, Sam realizes she left the phone in the green room and Pat goes back to grab it... but what he finds is the next band standing around a dead woman with a knife in her head. Another woman in there, Amber, asks Pat to call the cops. He tries, but he doesn’t get far. Now the band is stuck in the green room, with Amber, until the owner of the bar, Darcy, can arrive and decide what to do with them.

It’s not going to be pretty.

I can explain why this movie wasn’t able to hold onto its audience as it expanded wide with one spoiler. When a second character gets mauled to death by a pitbull, you know the movie is going to turn off mainstream audiences. If you are intrigued by a film with that level of violence, then Green Room is definitely worth your time and money. The writing and directing are more than a couple of steps above the usual level you see in these types of films. The film has a claustrophobic feel to it and that certainly helps increase the tension. The level of violence and gore will certainly turn off more people than it attracts, but if you are a fan of these elements in films, then you will almost certainly agree than the violence and gore are expertly staged.

Meanwhile, the acting is phenomenal. This is not the usual role for Patrick Stewart, but he’s amazing as the leader of the skinheads. Likewise, Anton Yelchin is very engaging in one of his last performances before his accidental death. He is excellent here at portraying a character that is clearly out of his depth, but desperate to survive. There’s not a lot of character growth to work with, but this is not kind of movie where character growth is needed.

The Extras

There are not a lot of extras on the DVD / Blu-ray. There is an audio commentary track with the writer / director, Jeremy Saulnier, as well as a ten-minute making of featurette. This isn’t a lot, but it is roughly on par with the average limited release.

The Verdict

Green Room’s level of violence will be a selling point for some, but a reason to stay away for others. If you are in the former camp, then the DVD or Blu-ray is worth owning. If you are not sure, then wait till you can rent it on Video on Demand.

Filed under: Video Review, Green Room, Imogen Poots, Alia Shawkat, Patrick Stewart, Mark Webber, Anton Yelchin, Jeremy Saulnier, David W. Thompson, Callum Turner, Joe Cole