Having now finally seen it, I can join the army of fans who are noisily vouching for Green Room's unassailable radness. Believe the hype, Jeremy Saulnier has crafted an exceptional horror movie that's as uniquely original as it is uncompromisingly brutal. By turns tense, upsetting, terrifying, quiet, thought-provoking and sad, the film works because it's grounded in a realism that only someone who has spent time in the punk scene could pull off.
However make no mistake, for all its realism Green Room is a fantasy, an alternate universe version of the hardcore scene, but it's a highly believable fantasy made by a punk for other punks to dive into and relish. Crucial to the achievement of that veracity is Saulnier's understated and subtle screenplay, and every performance in the film follows suit. Production design is spot on, everything from the Ain't Rights' van to the interior of the skinhead club has a dingy, lived in feel that doesn't feel faked. And much to my personal amusement, there's a kind of naive old-school quality to Saulnier's worldbuilding, with many of the references belonging to my generation - Dead Kennedys, Cro-Mags, Minor Threat, Fear, The Damned etc.
I'm going out to see it for a second time today. If you haven't already, get out there and experience this relentless, intelligent and artful horror masterpiece on the big screen for yourself.
There's your review. Now for the goodies.
An absolutely killer alternate poster by Jason Cryer
A nice illustration by comic artist Cameron Stewart
Another cool tribute, this one from Neal Anderson
Poster for a screening in Brixton, London
That was the entree, now for the MEAT. This is major SPOILER territory. If you haven't seen the film yet, stop and come back when you have!
Green Room features some of the gnarliest, most realistic practical gore effects I've ever seen. The grue (and one vicious looking pitbull puppet) was supplied by a studio called Prosthetic Renaissance Inc, headed up by one Mike Marino, and his history of working with the likes of Rob Bottin and Rick Baker is clearly evident in the nauseating details of his work. The following gallery is made up of makeup tests and final effects seen in the movie. Enjoy!