White power in the green room

Green Room

Ends tonight, May 26. Pageant Theatre. Rated R.
Rated 3.0

A punk-rock band gets stranded in the “green room” of a backwoods bar run by a cultish gang of white supremacists. There’s a huge thug with a gun and the corpse of a murdered audience member locked in with them. And, just outside, the cult’s loftily sinister leader (Patrick Stewart!) is plotting cover-ups for the mounting violence in and around the bar and making specious-sounding offers of safe passage to the sequestered band members.

Writer-director Jeremy Saulnier (Blue Ruin) is making another of his densely atmospheric forays into the violent misadventures of misfits and bottom-feeders. The onscreen results are predictably gory, and yet for all the torturous suspense, Saulnier declines to torture the audience and lets the various oddball characters devise tortures of their own. And with various plot points revolving around such stuff as a fire extinguisher, some microphone feedback, red shoelaces, etc., there’s a streak of fanciful humor running through it all.