The Ain’t Rights are the fictional punk band at the heart of Jeremy Saulnier’s defiantly unmusical yet gripping indie thriller, and the group’s members seem scrappy enough. They siphon gas from strangers’ cars for their dilapidated touring van and sulk their way through podcast interviews. Onstage in an Oregon shithole of a bar, they antagonize the skinhead crowd and flee to their backstage dressing room.
That’s when things get interesting in 'Green Room', a smart movie that’s obliquely about the rage that can fuel violence as well as art. It’s a thin line between the two, represented by the locked door to the band’s private space, one that feels increasingly fragile. The club’s proprietor, played by a malevolent Patrick Stewart, turns out to be a white supremacist of scary authority; before he even needs to say 'make it so', minions assemble to take out the group, for no just reason at all.
Special mention should be made of the absolutely disgusting gore effects – arm slashings and belly slicings – achieved by a makeup department clearly in thrall of old-school craft. This is a brutal movie that finds unusual freedom in limitations, as do wiry bassist Pat (Anton Yelchin) and bleach-blond concert attendee Amber (Imogen Poots), who both turn out to be pretty handy with weapons. Chalk it up to their killer instincts.