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Green Room’ Serves Up Claustrophobic Horror

Patrick Stewart proves he’s very good at being bad

Patrick Stewart (center) is a club owner who also leads a group of white supr...

Credit: A24

Above: Patrick Stewart (center) is a club owner who also leads a group of white supremacists in "Green Room."

KPBS film critic Beth Accomando reviews "Green Room."

Transcript

Companion viewing

"Star Trek: Generations" (1994)

"Murder Party" (2007)

"Blue Ruin" (2013)

Hollywood knows the fascination inherent in casting against type. So seeing Patrick Stewart go from Starfleet captain to neo-Nazi is a key attraction in the new film "Green Room" (opening April 29 in select San Diego theaters).

A punk band takes a questionable gig in the backwoods of Oregon and witnesses a murder. That's the simple premise of "Green Room," the new film by Jeremy Saulnier.

Saulnier stirred buzz for "Blue Ruin" in 2013 but this returns him to horror. The film quickly turns into a standoff between the musicians and the white supremacists running the club. The musicians and a young woman who knew the victim end up in — you guessed it, the green room.

Stewart plays the club owner, Darcy Banker. I wish there was more of Stewart’s nasty and coldly calculating Banker and less of Anton Yelchin’s unconvincing punk rocker. It's always fun to see actors that have built careers playing iconic good guys take on a darker character. Stewart revels in it and he anchors the film in ruthless practicality.

The supporting cast is strong, only Yelchin struck a false note for me.

Saulnier gets props for creating a claustrophobic horror film that delivers some hardcore goods. It builds tension well and doesn’t flinch from effective gore.

"Green Room" is rated R for strong brutal graphic violence, gory images, language and some drug content.

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Photo of Beth Accomando

Beth Accomando
Arts & Culture Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI cover arts and culture, from Comic-Con to opera, from pop entertainment to fine art, from zombies to Shakespeare. I am interested in going behind the scenes to explore the creative process; seeing how pop culture reflects social issues; and providing a context for art and entertainment.

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