Blu-ray Review Crime

'Green Room' Blu-ray Review: A siege thriller with a punk rock attitude

July 19, 2016Ben MK

It's impossible to discuss Green Room without at least acknowledging the recent death of one of its lead actors, Anton Yelchin. Best known for his role as Pavel Chekov in JJ Abrams' Star Trek reboots, Yelchin's untimely passing is sure to leave a void in the moviemaking community, if only because the roles he chose were often so diverse.

Case in point: Green Room, a film that follows a punk rock band called the Ain't Rights — bassist Pat (Yelchin), guitarist Sam (Alia Shawkat), drummer Reece (Joe Cole) and lead singer Tiger (Callum Turner) — who find themselves forcibly confined to the green room where they've just played their latest gig, after one of them witnesses the aftermath of a murder backstage. Meanwhile, on the other side of the door, a Neo-Nazi named Darcy (Patrick Stewart) is amassing his small army of skinheads, as he formulates a plan to tie up loose ends.

Along with a girl named Amber (Imogen Poots), who's also trapped in the green room with them, the band find themselves facing a tough choice. For if they're to have any hope of survival, they're either going to have to make a courageous stand or devise an ingenious escape. But as the film goes on, they find themselves slowly running out of options, until they have no alternative but to face their enemies head-on. And it's at that point that writer/director Jeremy Saulnier transforms Green Room, turning it from a slow-burning suspense into a gory thriller.

The movie is also extremely light on humor, at least for the first two-thirds of its runtime, which will probably make it even more difficult to sit through if you're the squeamish type. Otherwise, if it sounds like Green Room ventures into torture porn territory, rest assured; though there are definitely elements of revenge thrillers present in its DNA, Green Room is, at its core, a rousing underdog action flick.

Green Room's cast of characters may be rough around the edges, but the film's Blu-ray presentation is anything but. On the contrary, the 1080p image is pleasingly film-like, with a fair amount of detail present in faces, objects and environments, not to mention the gory details of the various kills. The picture, characterized by a dominantly green and orange visual palette, also appears to have been subjected to a certain degree of color grading. However, fleshtones remain relatively realistic, with good color saturation and contrast levels, both of which prove vital due to the film's many low-light scenes. As for the movie's sound design, dialogue and blaring punk rock music come through loud and clear with the disc's very capable DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack, as do the sound of screams, breaking bones, shotgun blasts and barking dogs. However, the mix is not all about aggression, as there's also subtlety at play in the way the filmmakers use silence throughout the movie to create atmosphere.

D Films' two-disc Blu-ray combo pack includes an iTunes digital copy, a DVD and the following Blu-ray extras:

  • Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Jeremy Saulnier - Saulnier talks about shooting various scenes, and he also touches on the film's cinematography, the editing, the cast and their performances, his filmmaking and musical influences, the score and more.
  • Into the Pit: Making Green Room (9:58) - A relatively by-the-book making-of piece in which the cast and crew talk about everything from filming in Oregon and the movie's premise, to the characters, the music, the visuals and the violence.

Green Room is available from D Films as of July 12th, 2016. The Blu-ray features an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track and is presented with English SDH and Spanish subtitles. The total runtime is 1 Hr. 35 Mins.

* Reviewer's note: Portions of this Blu-ray review were adapted from my original review of the theatrical release, published on April 29th, 2016.

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