Follow TV Tropes


Film / Green Room

Go To
"Now. Whatever you saw or did... is no longer my concern. But let's be clear... it won't end well".

Green Room is a 2016 horror thriller written and directed by Jeremy Saulnier and starring Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots and Patrick Stewart.

Punk band the Ain't Rights are on tour, and it isn't going terribly well. When they're offered the chance to play a show at a venue near Portland, Oregon, they jump at the chance to make enough money to get them back home. But after discovering that the club is owned by neo-Nazi Skinheads, they witness a murder, and the band is forced to fight for their lives.


Green Room contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: Amber surprisingly turns out to be one.
  • Action Survivor: The band is way out of their depth dealing with the neo-Nazis, and realistically make many mistakes throughout the film, which gets three of the four killed.
  • Affably Evil: Darcy, who has a gentle, almost grandfatherly approach to mentoring the young Skinheads. He uses his kindly personality to try to convince the band to surrender. (Depending on your interpretation of the character, possibly more Faux Affably Evil.)
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Subverted. At one point Sam suggests trying the bunker's duct but Pat brushes her off saying that they wouldn't fit through.
  • Angry Guard Dog: The pit bulls owned by Clark that Darcy sets on the band resulting in Sam being horribly mauled to death.
  • Anyone Can Die: Three of the four band members don't make it. The Skinheads aren't so lucky either, with Gabe and Werm being the only ones alive at the end.
  • Advertisement:
  • An Arm and a Leg: Pat gets his arm royally messed up by the skinheads. We don't see it happen, but we do see the aftermath and it ain't pretty.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: Pat recalls that this is how the band won a round of paintball against U.S. Marine veterans. It inspires him and Amber to formulate a proactive plan, even if based on completely different principle.
  • Bad Boss: Darcy verbally, and at one point physically, attacks Gabe for acting to protect Werm after he killed Emily "under [his] roof" suggesting that Gabe should have let him go to prison instead. He also implies that the heroin that he gave to Werm and his band to take (and that, except for Werm, they are later shown to have taken) is in fact poisoned in an attempt to remove the band as a loose end.
  • Badass Bystander: Amber turns out to be one.
  • Bad-Guy Bar: Darcy's music venue — because, well, it's a white supremacist bar.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The entire setup in the basement against the remaining two Red Laces, but most notable is Amber apparently jumping down. The skinhead fires his last shell, knee-capping her, throws the shotgun away and runs for the pistol, only to find that the body belongs to Emily and the gun has the magazine removed, while Amber smiles in his face from the top.
  • Bald of Evil: Darcy. The other skinheads have shaved their hair short as well.
  • Beard of Evil: Clark has one.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones:
    • Amber starts off as the quietest, most reserved member of the group, but transforms into a total badass.
    • Soft-spoken club owner Darcy is the film's Big Bad.
  • Big Bad: Darcy, the sadistic, neo-Nazi owner of the club, imprisons the Ain't Rights band when they witness a murder by one of his goons and attempts to kill them to cover up the crime.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Pat and Amber survive, and end up killing the head of a heroin lab, but almost everyone else dies including all of Pat's bandmates, and Pat's mutilated arm means that he'll probably never play bass again.
  • Bookends: The first word of the movie is "shit," and the last word of the movie is also "shit" with a line "Tell someone who gives a shit."
  • Boom, Headshot!: How Daniel and Darcy die.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted. The count of shells for the shotgun is a plot point, especially after Pat took the shells for himself. And by the end of the story, all ammunition have been fired.
  • Brick Joke:
    • Early on, while giving an interview, all band members list their Desert Island Bands, all being rock or punk rock. Later on, in the thick of it, Sam reveals it's in fact Simon & Garfunkel, while Reece reveals it's Prince. This even extends to Amber, since even if she wasn't part of the interview, her listing of Madonna along Slayer is funny by itself.
    • Only at the very end does Pat think of his Desert Island Band. Amber suggests he tell "someone who gives a shit".
  • Bullying a Dragon: When the band learns their audience is composed of white supremacists and Neo-Nazis, they decide to play "Nazi Punks Fuck Off" by the Dead Kennedys. Fortunately, the skinheads are more annoyed than offended. Unfortunately, this actually suggests that the band were going to be hunted regardless if they saw the murder.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Subverted. The wounded dog that runs away? No, it's not going to attack Pat and Amber (or even Gabe, as he was sent out to find help at a nearby farm) for a Downer Ending. It just came back home and lies next to its dead owner, hurt itself and slowly dying.
  • Chekhov's Skill: When Reece shoves Tad into a door, Tiger says, "Ease up, Jiu-Jitsu!" Reece later uses his jiu-jitsu to put the bouncer in an armbar and a rear-naked choke.
  • Chiaroscuro: When the lights in the green room are out, Amber turns on her lighter.
  • Counting Bullets: The shotgun has three shells left. Amber loudly counts them after each shot and repeats them to make sure Pat knows when the last of the attackers will run dry.
    Amber: Zero.
  • Covers Always Lie: The DVD cover shows Patrick Stewart, Anton Yelchin, and Imogen Poots standing in formation as if facing some danger together. In the actual movie Patrick Stewart is the danger.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass:
    • Reece, who at first doesn't seem any different from the other members of the band, turns out to be the most physically imposing and strongest among the protagonists. He's the most willing to handle a firearm and shows more proficiency than anyone else, including the bad guys, in a number of submission-grappling moves.
    • Pat as well, who, despite seeming flaky and unreliable and being the first band member to get wounded, kills several of the neo-Nazis, including Darcy, and survives the film.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: All of them.
  • Dare to Be Badass: Subverted. Pat attempts to give a pep talk about the time a friend of his single-handedly wiped out a team of ex-Marines in paintball by just outright charging them. Reece cuts him off. Later, at Amber's request, Pat finishes the story.
  • Dead Man's Trigger Finger: Darcy dies this way, fortunately missing.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Reece looks like he could lead the group out of their misery but then he suffers a Surprisingly Sudden Death.
  • Defector from Decadence: Gabe ends up siding with Pat and Amber, as he has seen enough of Darcy's evil through the entire night and simply doesn't want to go to prison.
  • Developing Doomed Characters: The film starts by following the band through their road trip to their latest venue, a radio interview, and a gig in a diner.
  • The Dragon: Gabe starts out seeming to be this to Darcy, but later turns out to be more of an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain. Clark better fits the role.
  • Dissonant Serenity:
    • Just before leaving, Werm calmly compliments the Ain't Rights and asks the name of their penultimate song, explaining that was when he committed the murder.
    • Discussed when Pat and Amber sit stunned on the green room sofa and wonder why they're not panicking.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Pat buzzes his hair to look like a skinhead. This confuses everyone long enough to set up a trap in motion.
  • Duct Tape for Everything: Pat's mutilated arm is duct-taped to lessen the bleeding. He then tapes Amber's thigh after she's shot.
  • Dwindling Party: The band members are picked off throughout the film. By the end, only Pat and Amber are still alive.
  • The Dying Walk: Darcy performs one in his final moments.
  • Elite Mooks: The Red Laces, who are basically the soldiers of the neo-Nazi gang.
  • Emotionless Girl: Amber, probably due to being exposed to the horrors of the gang and their actions throughout her life. She also suggests having had a traumatic life before the events of the movie which may have numbed her to trauma and violence.
  • Establishing Character Moment: When Tad can't deliver on his promise, Reece angrily grabs and threatens him, establishing him as the most physically dominant of the band.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Clark, Darcy's right-hand man, is more than happy to train dogs to fight and kill. He also genuinely cares for them on some level, and asks the last Red Laces to let a mortally wounded dog die fighting. After Clark's death, that same dog finds his body and lies down to die next to him.
  • Evidence Dungeon: When Darcy opens the trunk of Daniel's car, no further exposition is needed as all the evidence about his and Emily's runaway plans lay open.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: Most of the film takes place over one very long night.
  • Fauxshadowing: A few shots in the climax focus on the injured fight dog roaming out into the woods, a loose menace to our heroes. In the end, it shows up and simply sits down beside its late owner.
  • Fall Guy: The two 'true believers' that agree to stab and get stabbed to cover for the initial 911 call and get the police off the scent of the real stabbing taking the wounds and the prison time respectively.
  • Feedback Rule: Downplayed. There is a slight feedback after Darcy announces the end of the "movement" party and steps away from the microphone.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Amber goes from a random person the band is locked with to closest ally Pat has and lives to the very end. They don't exactly like each other by the end, but still make a great team.
  • Five Stages of Grief: Lampshaded when Pat asks Amber if it's normal they aren't panicking anymore. At this point of the plot, they are all in Acceptance stage, fully expecting to die.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: The monstrous white supremacist whom all the other neo-Nazis hold in awe? Darcy.
  • Foreshadowing: In the radio interview at the beginning of the film, Reece mentions that he doesn't expect to live until he's seventy. He's absolutely right.
  • For Want of a Nail: If Pat hadn't gone back to the green room to get Sam's phone, he wouldn't have witnessed the scene of Emily's murder, and he and the rest of the band wouldn't have been caught up in fighting for their lives against a group of neo-Nazis.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Darcy wears glasses and is the Big Bad.
  • Gambit Roulette: The fight plan assumes the last of the Red Laces will drop his shotgun and run for the handgun instead. There is absolutely no guarantee he will do that and it was depending on a chance.
  • Gorn: When people die in this movie, it is absolutely ugly. And there's a lot of dying going on.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Played straight and then Subverted: initially we don't see what's happening to Pat's arm when Darcy's goons are trying to take the gun from him, but once the others pull him away from the door, we see in graphic detail that his hand has been hacked nearly clean off and is barely still attached to his arm.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Werm killed Emily when he learned that Emily was going to run away with Daniel.
  • Grumpy Old Man: In just about every scene, Darcy gives the impression he'd rather be doing anything other than this.
  • Gun Struggle: In the basement between Pat and one of the skins over the shotgun. Broken by Amber killing the skinhead with the handgun.
  • Gutted Like a Fish: How Amber kills Big Justin.
  • He Knows Too Much: The band. Although it's also played with in that Darcy would rather have let the band talk about the murder and Werm go to prison as a result to protect his drug business at least until he finds out that Emily and Daniel were planning to leave and take incriminating evidence with them.
  • Heroic BSoD: Sam has a minor one when they're first locked in the green room; Pat has one after his hand is nearly cut off.
  • Hope Spot:
    • When they discover the drug bunker beneath the changing room. However, it doesn't provide a way out.
    • When Daniel defects, it looks like he might get the band out of there. He dies almost immediately.
  • Improvised Weapon: Few, but most notably the dry powder fire extinguisher, which is used extensively throughout the second half of the film and is very effective at blinding and choking. Sam also attempts this with a broken fluorescent light, but she doesn't end up using it on anyone.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Sam almost instantly goes for it when finding a shot left on the bar. She drops the glass mid-swing when Daniel is suddenly shot.
  • Karma Houdini: Werm, who did the murder that kicked everything off, is last seen safe and sound watching television while his bandmates get high on heroin. Although the heroine was (heavily implied to be) tainted, he apparently didn't take a shot himself.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence:
    • After Daniel switches sides and shows the remaining band members where ammo is held, along with a shotgun, he is killed while saying "I know where we keep—", catching buckshot with his face. His killer even remarks about how Daniel was "too slow."
    • When confronted by Pat and Amber, Clark only manages to say the word "Listen—" before being blasted with the shotgun by Amber.
  • Kill the Cutie: Sam gets mauled by one of Clark's attack dogs.
  • Legitimate Businessmen's Social Club: The venue is a front for Darcy and company's heroin dealing.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: Proposed by Sam, ends up getting Reece and Tiger killed.
  • Machete Mayhem: The Red Laces bring one along. It ends up being used against them.
  • Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot: While the "minor crime" is murder, from Darcy's perspective the murder of some random girl by a resident musician of the club is a trifling matter. Darcy can't let cops investigate his club because of the drug empire he's got in the basement.
  • Mohs Scale of Violence Hardness: A solid 9. While the violence isn't as rampant as other horror movies, the death scenes in this movie are very, very graphic, as brief as they may be.
  • Mook–Face Turn: Several.
    • Daniel switches sides and helps the protagonists, and it's revealed that he was planning on leaving from the beginning and is also holding incriminating evidence against Darcy and the skinheads for a past crime they've committed.
    • Finally, Gabe turns when he realizes that Pat and Amber have killed the remaining Red Laces and he's had to spend a night witnessing the full extent of Darcy's evil, rather than hearing tall stories.
  • My Nayme Is: The Ain't Rights' name, is spelled incorrectly (the "Arent Rights") on the sign for the venue, much to the band's chagrin.
  • No Hugging, No Kissing: Sam is simply a member of the band and not in any relationship with any of the boys in it. There's also no sexual tension between Pat and Amber and no romantic subplot of any kind going between them.
  • Oblivious Janitor Cut: There is a cut-away to Gabe cleaning the club while Pat and Amber fight two mooks in the green room.
  • Obvious Trap:
    • Yes, Pat, reach out into the hallway to give Darcy your gun. Nothing bad could possibly happen.
    • Invoked verbatim by the remaining two Red Laces when Pat jumps into the basement and pretends to fight with someone. They know it's a ruse, but they still need to get inside and finish him off.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • The look on Pat's face when he stumbles on the murder scene.
    • The last Red Laces face when he realizes he was tricked.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Tiger. Unless it's a case of Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Darcy and the group of neo-Nazis. Darcy refers to the heroin he gives to the house band Cow Catcher as "my dope, nigger stamps" and later mentions that it is likely poisoned by saying "really gotta watch that nigger dope; bad batch doing the rounds."
  • Precision F-Strike: "Nazi punks, Nazi punks, Nazi punks, FUCK OFF!!!"
  • Pretty Little Headshots:
    • Justified, as the handgun used for inflicting those is of really small caliber.
    • Averted with Darcy and horrifically averted with Daniel.
  • Psychos For Hire: The Red Laces. One who hacks Reece to death has a big grin on his face when he's done.
  • Punk Rock: The whole film is set within the punk scene, with the protagonist's band being an example of Hardcore Punk, while the villains are a group of white-supremacist Skinheads (versus non-racist Skins, who, as the film alludes to, exists too).
  • Refuge in Audacity: Pat and Amber are the last survivors of the night and trapped in the green room. With the skinheads' arrival imminent, Amber shaves Pat's head and gives him her jacket while she hides in the sofa. When the skinheads break in, Pat's skinhead impersonation puts the killers off-guard long enough for him to bait them into a trap.
  • Rockers Smash Guitars: The hunched-over figure in the film poster is a covert nod to this trope, replacing the guitar with a machete to combine the film's themes of rock music and horrific violence.
  • Running Gag: People calling the amps in the hallway a "fire hazard" even after dealing with the murder.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The band references quite a few musical bands, including various groups as their "desert island band." Pat wears a Minor Threat shirt and Sam wears a Dead Kennedys shirt throughout the film.
    • A Dragonlance book is visible in the Ain't Rights' van at the very end.
    • The drugs given to Cow Catcher (probably to poison them) are "nigger-stamped." Gabe asks if they're "Grove Street." This is a reference to Grove Street from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, a neighborhood with a majority-black population and a notorious drug problem.
  • Sickening "Crunch!": Can be heard when Reece breaks Big Justin's arm.
  • The Siege: The band, Amber, and one of the club's bouncers are trapped in the titular green room, trying to fight off the venue's owner and his neo-Nazi mooks on the other side of the door.
  • Stealth Pun: The neo-Nazis correct the band's name from the Ain't Rights to the "Aren't Rights," making them literal Grammar Nazis.
  • Surprisingly Sudden Death:
    • Reece, despite being the most physically imposing band member, is mortally wounded the moment he crawls out a window.
    • And then again with Daniel, the trained killer who knows the club inside and out. Shot in the head in mid-sentence.
  • Sociopathic Hero: Arguably, Amber. She's the most comfortable with killing of any of the protagonists, seemingly unfazed when unzipping Big Justin's stomach (whilst Reece completely freaks out) with the box cutter and multiple other kills. She is also fine using the blood-soaked corpse of her friend to draw the fire of the skinhead with the shotgun in the bunker before killing him with a double tap on the skin shortly after whilst he's grappling with Pat. She is also the most comfortable dealing out multiple other gunshot and close combat kills throughout the second half of the movie; seemingly registering no emotional reaction besides determination.
  • Tempting Fate: Go ahead. Try to argue that playing the Dead Kennedys' "Nazi Punks F**k Off" in a neo-Nazi venue isn't this. Even if the audience members themselves ultimately brushed it off, it pretty much set up that the band wasn't just going to be able to safely leave before crap started hitting the fan, either.
  • This Means Warpaint: Pat and Amber put on camouflage paint before their showdown with the two mooks.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: The villains.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Knowing that they're playing at a skinhead bar in the middle of nowhere, the band decides to open with a cover of the Dead Kennedys' "Nazi Punks Fuck Off", a well-known anti-Nazi punk song. Thankfully, the spectators are more annoyed and belligerent than violent and actually end up enjoying the set.
    • Played straight when Sam suggests everyone split up to find an exit out of the venue when it's clear there are enemies wanting to kill them lurking all around who know the place much better than they do. Unsurprisingly, they're immediately overwhelmed and two are killed.
  • Two Shots from Behind the Bar: There was a shotgun hidden behind the bar and Daniel was in the middle of retrieving it, but was killed in the process, with the very gun he was searching for, already removed by the rest of the gang.
  • The Unfought: Werm, the big, creepy leader of the club's house band Cow Catcher kicks everything off by murdering Emily. He's last seen eating noodles next to his unconscious (and presumably poisoned) band members. Amber wants to track him down, but hasn't by the film's end.
  • The Unreveal: Pat's desert island band. He thinks of it in the end, but Amber doesn't want to hear it. It is heavily implied to be Creedence Clearwater Revival, as their song "Sinister Purpose" is the first to be played as the credits roll.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Despite his apparent good intentions, college DJ Tad is this. He only tells the Ain't Rights that their gig at his college is cancelled after they've schlepped from Virginia to Oregon, leaving them desperate for quick money. He helps arrange a gig at Darcy's place and warns them that the crowd includes Aryan skinheads, but not that they're a violent drug gang who hate witnesses.
  • Violence Is Disturbing: Is it ever. All of the violence in the film is sloppy and brutal, with the effects of things like knife and gunshot wounds portrayed with nauseating realism.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Fight dogs vs. microphone feedback. Dogs really hate that sound.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Justified as an actual plot point. The band can't be shot, since that would make it hard to explain why they have gunshot wounds and blow the cover story about them being attacked by dogs while supposedly siphoning gas. But when three of them are already mauled by dogs, Pat is fair game to shoot.
  • The Worf Effect: Reece, the toughest and most assertive band member, is the second band member to die, in the same sequences as Tiger, establishing the threat of the Nazis and that anyone can die. The minimal effort required for that only drives the message further.
  • You Can Barely Stand: By the end of the story, Pat and Amber are wounded, bleeding and after an entire night of a siege and fighting for their lives. They just sit there, with no strength left.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Darcy heavily implies that he has arranged for Werm and the rest of the house band Cow Catcher to poison themselves by giving them free drugs with 'nigger stamps' that has been poisoned. Seemingly confirmed when all but Werm are shown unconscious or dead with needles still in at least one of their arms at the end of the film.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: