There’s something undeniably compelling about siege films, whether we’re talking about movies in which the people under siege can fight back (e.g. ‘Die Hard,’ ‘Home Alone’) or are mainly helpless victims (e.g. ‘Panic Room,’ ‘The Strangers’). Most fall somewhere in between because, when faced with a life-or-death flight-or-fight situation in which “flight” has been irrevocably taken away, you really have no choice but to fight or die fighting at the very least.
Indie director Jeremy Salnier’s ‘Green Room’ is the latest entry in the genre and tells the harrowing tale of four members in a punk rock band called “The Ain’t Rights” who, being down on their luck and hard up for cash, reluctantly played a gig in front of a group of white supremacist skin-heads. Bravely (or stupidly, depending on your point of view) flipping them off by doing a cover of The Dead Kennedys’ “Nazi Punks Fuck Off,” the band blew through their set and were ready to skip town fast but one of the members left her phone behind, which resulted in a series of unfortunate happenstances that led to the band (and a local girl) being trapped and struggling for their lives against a group of skin-heads led by the soft-spoken Captain Jean-Luc Picard, ahem, Patrick Stewart.
‘Green Room’ has all the ingredients of a solid siege thriller: nail-biting tension, tightly wound suspense, a menacing villain and victims you actually give a damn about. Like 2011’s ‘You’re Next,’ the movie also features an unexpected heroine in the guise of Amber (Imogen Poots) who, like the former film’s Erin (Sharni Vinson), only gets tougher and more determined as the situation becomes ever more dire and hopeless.