M.L. Miller here! As I go into the tenth year of reviewing horror films, I wanted to go back to the beginning and repost some of the films I loved. Moving on to Year Six of my year-long Retro-Best in Horror I’m recapping the Countdown beginning officially on October 1, 2015 and going through September 30, 2016. I have posted compilation lists in the past, but a lot of those old reviews haven’t seen the light of day since they were first posted many moons ago. Being the OCD person that I am, I have also worked and reworked the list, looking back at my own choices and shifting them around, and even adding a few that I might have missed or looked over from the year in question. So, if you think you know how these lists are going to turn out, you don’t! Don’t forget to like and share my picks with your pals across the web on your own personal social media. Chime in after the review and let me know what you think of the film, how on the nose or mind-numbingly wrong I am, or most importantly, come up with your own darn list…let’s go!

Released on April 15, 2016. Available On Demand, digital download, and Blu-ray/DVD from A24 Films! Also streaming on Netflix!

GREEN ROOM (2015)

Directed by Jeremy Saulnier
Written by Jeremy Saulnier
Starring Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, Alia Shawkat, Patrick Stewart, Joe Cole, Mark Webber, Callum Turner, Eric Edelstein, Taylor Tunes, Macon Blair, Kai Lennox, October Moore, David W. Thompson, Brent Werzner, Mason Knight, Samuel Summer, Colton Ruscheinsky
Find out more about this film here and on Facebook here

I have witnessed one of the most intense cinematic experiences this year and it comes from the director who brought us one of the most intense films from a few years ago. The filmmaker is Jeremy Saulnier and the film from a few years ago, if you didn’t already know, is BLUE RUIN. But the most important thing you should take from this review is that you need to get out and see GREEN ROOM as Saulneir tops himself with this one.

Made up of Pat (Anton Yelchin), Sam (Alia Shawkat), Reece (Joe Cole) and Tiger (Callum Turner), the Ain’t Rights, a punk band who makes their way across country in a van by swiping gas from cars along the way, have fallen on hard times. So when an opportunity to make $350.00 comes up, they don’t ask too many questions about it. Turns out, their latest gig is at a Nazi skinhead bar and when the band witnesses a murder, they hole up in the Green Room where the band gets ready to go on stage What transpires is an all out war between the trapped punk band inside the room and the murderous skinheads outside trying to make everything, including the Ain’t Rights, disappear.

What impressed me the most about GREEN ROOM is the immersive way the film engulfs the viewer. Sure it helps to know a thing or two about the punk scene, but really, this is a film, not unlike ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13, there a group is trapped in a small place and surrounded by murderous maniacs looking to get into the fortified place the group is hiding. While the punk band is trapped in this small room, there is no way for the skinheads, lead by a super restrained and deathly powerful Patrick Stewart and BLUE RUIN’s soulful and subtle Macon Blair, to get in, so there’s a standoff here of epic proportions. This high standard is achieved because we get to know and like this band in the opening moments and sympathize with their struggle to simply make enough money to get to their next gig. Because these opening moments are so genuinely engaging, I was rooting for the band to get out of this one alive, no matter how perilous the threat.

And that’s exactly what Saulnier does here by making these Nazi skinheads, which are already pretty deplorable by name alone, truly menacing threats. As the band saunters into the backwoods bar and watches the scowling faces ready to take out their aggressions through angry music and much mosh pitting, Saulnier patiently scans the entire facility to plainly show this dire situation even before the band realizes what kind of hell they’ve wandered into. Keenly played negotiations between the band and the skinheads outside where Yelchin and Steward act as the mouthpieces for each group could be seen as tedious, but the performances are so good here and the setting has become such a character, that the scenes are chock-filled with tension and scares.

GREEN ROOM is much more of a gory and horrific action movie than a true horror film, though there is lots of blood, scares, and horrific things going on. Those scares are potent. The stakes are dire. The characters are likable, mainly because Saulnier has padded this film with top tier talent. This is one gut punchingly good film that never holds back and spits suspense, fire, sound, and gore right in your face from start to finish. Don’t miss GREEN ROOM as it truly is one of the most in-your-facey, edge-of-your-seaty, balls-to-the-wallsy films you’re going to experience this year!

Plus it’s got an amazing soundtrack to boot by pretty much all of the punk bands you’re every going to need to know!

Click here for the trailer!


THE 2015-2016 COUNTDOWN!


#2 – GREEN ROOM
#3 – BONE TOMAHAWK
#4 – THE INVITATION
#5 – LAST SHIFT
#6 – DON’T BREATHE
#7 – TRAIN TO BUSAN
#8 – THE FINAL GIRLS
#9 – THE SHALLOWS
#10 – MASKS
#11 – KRAMPUS
#12 – AVA’S POSSESSION
#13 – BODY
#14 – THE WAILING
#15 – THEY LOOK LIKE PEOPLE
#16 – MORGAN
#17 – DEATHGASM
#18 – 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE
#19 – DER BUNKER
#20 – DECAY
#21 – EMELIE
#22 – NINA FOREVER
#23 – HUSH
#24 – THE MIND’S EYE
#25 – DARLING
#26 – SUN CHOKE
#27 – SUMMER CAMP
#28 – BASKIN
#29 – HOLIDAYS
#30 – THE HALLOW
#31 – SOUTHBOUND


M. L. Miller is a wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of MLMILLERWRITES.COM. Follow @Mark_L_Miller.

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