Green Room (2015)

A smart, strong, lean thriller.

Everything about the film just seems…right. The cast all do great work in their roles. The music (both diagetic and not) is infectious and thrilling. The story is compelling and told with swift, deliberate efficiency.

I find myself liking the film more and more as I reflect on it after having watched it. There were no wrong notes played. Nothing out of the place. The film felt like a completely realised vision by director Jeremy Saulnier.

Remarkably for a gory thriller, all the violence feels extremely purposeful, all in service to the story and greater vision, and never exploitative. The characters are very well-drawn for the fairly short runtime of the film; all their relationships and individual conflicts and motivations are developed well, and without any clumsy exposition or anything like that. “Workmanlike” feels like the wrong word to describe what Saulnier achieved with this film, but it’s that sort of efficiency and competence that I didn’t really come into full appreciation of until mulling over the film after watching it, that impresses me more than anything.

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Maybe it is indeed “impossible to make an anti-war film”, but a film like “Green Room” convinces me it’s very possible to make an anti-gore film. I give it three and a half licks of warpaint, and some red laces.

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