There are many movies that are worth seeing, but there are a lot of stinkers as well. My goal here is to weed out the good from the bad.
2020 Netflix Halloween Countdown
As crazy as it is to believe, it is already October 2020—it has been a bizarre year, for sure. For the past three years, I have been spending October watching and reviewing some of the spooky, scary, gory, chilling, and horror-themed movies on Netflix. With each review, I will include a table that ranks these movies from best to worst. This year will be my fourth year doing this, and I plan on publishing a new review each day. Some will be from movies that I have reviewed before, but there will be some new movies on here is well. So if you are looking to get in the Halloween spirit by watching some Halloween-style movies, then these articles are for you!
Pat (Anton Yelchin) is part of an aspiring punk-rock band. They are not very popular, but they manage to get small gigs here and there, and they take what they can get. When they get a gig at a bar located in a secluded area of town, they jump on the opportunity. However, tensions rise when the band finds out that the bar is run by a group of neo-Nazis, led by Darcy (Patrick Stewart), and that most of the people in attendance at the gig are also neo-Nazis.
The band is tense, but the gig seems to go well, that is until they witness a murder. As the only witnesses of the crime, the band hides out in the green room of the bar. They are without their cell-phones, trapped inside the green room, with a dangerous group of neo-Nazis trying desperately to dispose of the band that has witnessed their crime. If Pat and his band mates want to get out alive, they are going to need to fight.
The Pros & Cons
|The Pros||The Cons|
Patrick Stewart (+4pts)
Brutal Violence (+6pts)
The Plot (-6pts)
Anton Yelchin & Imogen Poots (+4pts)
The Characters (-5pts)
Pro: Patrick Stewart (+4pts)
I have never seen Patrick Stewart in a role quite like this one, so I was really excited to see what he would do with the character. He ended up being enigmatic in this role in the most captivating way. This character was cruel, he was mean, and Patrick Stewart gave him a truly intimidating presence. I am used to seeing Patrick Stewart in roles very different from this one, so it was a pleasant surprise to see him play this role so effectively.
It is not that I doubted, even for a second, that Patrick Stewart would be able to pull off this role. He is an incredibly talented actor, but it was refreshing to see him do something different, and I enjoyed every second that Darcy was on screen because of how captivating he was in this role. My only complaints were that the character did not get much development or screen time. Nonetheless, Patrick Stewart made every second count. He did not get a ton of screen time, but his performance was memorable and left a lasting presence that was felt throughout the entire movie, even when he was not on screen.
Con: Convenience (-5pts)
For all intents and purposes, this bar became a war-zone. I get that the bar was located in a remote area, but the noise coming from this bar would have been absolutely insane, and someone must have heard it and called the police, so it was a little convenient for the writers when no authorities came. It also seemed like a stretch that Darcy would have had an armed militia that seemed to be ready for this exact scenario, yet their plan was to attack the punk-rock band in waves. This was another thing that was convenient for the writers, as it gave the protagonists a fighting chance when they really should not have had one.
The premise was interesting enough, but the writers consistently resorted to lazy writing. It seemed that the writers consistently wrote themselves into corners, and then either used negligence or poor character decision making as a way out of those corners. I mean, really? You are going to just trust a group of neo-Nazi's who are clearly trying to kill you? Oh, and really, you are desperate to eliminate witnesses, so you send in one or two guys at a time? It is stuff like this that clearly only happened because the writers were lazy, and wanted the story to go in a specific direction, so they forced the story in that direction even though it meant creating a bunch of plot holes and character inconsistencies.
Pro: Brutal Violence (+6pts)
Like I said before, the bar becomes a bit of a war-zone. The neo-Nazis involved are essentially a militia, and the punk-rock band has no way out, but through. Needless to say, people get hurt, and they get hurt bad. The filmmakers were not afraid to go all-in, when it came to the violence.
This story is filled with characters meaning to do a lot of harm, and the filmmakers showed this by delivering really brutal violence. There are machetes, box-cutters, explosives, and a whole lot of guns. The characters in this movie are fighting to the death, and they use anything they can get their hands on to do as much damage as possible. I think excessive violence can start feeling stale in movies, but that was not the case with Green Room. The brutality of the violence went a long way in making the situation feel more dangerous, which kept me engaged in what was happening.
Con: The Plot (-6pts)
My problem with the plot of Green Room was that it was essentially non-existent. A neo-Nazi militia tries to kill an aspiring punk-rock band, who has to fight to survive. There is really nothing else to this story. It was somewhat interesting to see average civilians trying to survive in this situation, but the longer they survived, the less realistic the movie became.
The movie had a pretty slow start, and a large portion of the movie took place in the green room. It started to get pretty boring in a few areas, although it does make the title of the movie more appropriate. My point is that I thought the plot of this movie was too simple. I kept waiting for the story to turn in another direction, or become something more, but that never happened. The simple premise hooked me, but there was not enough of a plot to keep me engaged. The brutal violence was effective at engaging me when it was happening, but the violence happened a little too infrequently for it to hide the non-existent plot.
Pro: Anton Yelchin & Imogen Poots (+4pts)
Their performances were not outstanding. This was mostly due to the poor character development not giving them much material to work with, but I will get into that later. While the performances were not exceptional, and were not enough to leave a lasting impression, they were enough to make the characters and the plot believable, at least as believable as the actors could have made it. Everything that happened to these characters was kind of unbelievable, but Anton Yelchin and Imogen Poots delivered performances that made me buy into their characters, as well as the situation that they were in. Again, the performances were not awe-inspiring, but both Anton Yelchin and Imogen Poots played their parts effectively.
Con: The Characters (-5pts)
Much like the plot of this movie, character development was almost non-existent. The protagonists did not really grow at all, and we learned almost nothing about them. The same is also true for the antagonist. While Patrick Stewart certainly made the character standout, Darcy was one-dimensional and we learn almost nothing about him. In a movie like this, you need to care about the characters in it. You need to be able to connect with them, so that you can see yourself in them, thus putting yourself in their shoes. The filmmakers of Green Room, however, gave their characters little to no development, which made it hard to get invested in this story.
Grade: C- (73pts)
Green Room had a pretty decent setup, but from there, there was no plot whatsoever. The filmmakers had an idea, but they did not have a story to tell with that idea. The idea was that a punk-rock band gets a gig at a sketchy, isolated, neo-Nazi bar. They then witness something they should not have, so the owner needs them out of the picture. That is the entire plot of the movie. There was no character development, and there were no plot developments or plot twists. It felt like the writers delivered only a fraction of a story here, and the filmmakers just stretched it out into a full movie, utilizing characters’ poor decision making whenever they needed to keep the movie going.
The lead performances were strong, with Anton Yelchin and Imogen Poots delivering the performances that their roles needed from them. Patrick Stewart was captivatingly intimidating in the role of the primary antagonist, and it was such a departure from the roles you expect from him, which made it a lot of fun to watch. The movie was also violent in the most brutal way, which was also fun to watch. This movie certainly had promise, and had the potential of being something truly great, but the weak plot caused it to fall very far below that potential.
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