I met up with some friends and waited about an hour and a half in the ticket holders line to see Green Room, the new film by acclaimed director Jeremy Saulnier.
Saulnier has been making waves in the festival circuit with his strange blend of arthouse sensibilities mixed with pure grindhouse genre conventions. His previous film, Blue Ruin earned rave reviews at Cannes and deservedly so – it was one of the best films I saw last year.
This year, Saulnier opened the Midnight Madness programme with a horror film about a punk rock band who reluctantly play a gig in a skinhead bar. As they are about to leave, they witness a horrific crime and are then one by one chased by these skinheads so that no one gets away. The leader of the skinhead gang is played by none other than Sir Patrick Stewart.
Addressing the sold out crowd, Patrick Stewart said he always wanted to make a movie like this because these were the kinds of movies he loved as a kid. He admitted he and his friends would wait by a theatre and coerce adults to buy their tickets for them so they could get in.
Green Room is an incredibly violent yet incredibly fun thrill ride. It had the audience cheering and laughing in equal doses last night, and its genre roots were also praised at its premiere earlier this year at Cannes. Now, it will be playing at the Toronto International Film Festival, competing for the Grolsch People’s Choice Award and the TIFF Midnight Madness Award.