Directed by Jeremy Saulnier
A punk rock band becomes trapped in a secluded venue after finding a scene of violence. For what they saw, the band themselves become targets of violence from a gang of white power skinheads, who want to eliminate all evidence of the crime.
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★★★★½ review by nathaxnne walker (the curse made flesh) on Letterboxd
You know, it would be really quite terrible if we were to find ourselves trapped in the midst of an armed White Supremacist business operation which uses entertainment as a cover for nefarious schemes which sicken and enslave the whole of the culture whilst using non-whites as scapegoats for the damage and hostility which follows, further fuelling their cause, right? right?
★★★½ review by davidehrlich on Letterboxd
you think you've lived, and then you meet Nazi-fighting punk action hero Imogen Poots. they should have sent a poet.
Saulnier continues to prove that he's an emerging master of suspense, albeit a suspense of a particularly violent variety. and the (male) rage that this movie hinges on... well, coming home from this to see video of burly men shoving a female protestor out of a Trump rally was rather telling. there's something real coursing beneath this midnight madness, and it lingers... though, given Saulnier's talent, this whole scenario seems a mite beneath him. it's a lateral step from BLUE RUIN when he's clearly ready to tackle something larger, if not in size than in emotional scope. i'll definitely be there when he does.
★★★★★ review by adrianbalboa on Letterboxd
when hot drummer guy wrestled the bouncer to the ground and choked him out with his thighs...............i felt that
★★★★½ review by Eli Hayes on Letterboxd
"Shouldn't we be panicking?"
★★★★ review by josh lewis on Letterboxd
"we didn't do anything"
lean microcosm on the dangers of passivity, mostly, the punk-posturing bandmates made complicit in an act of collective hatred & violence by allowing it to fester in their scene / community / country. the best decision saulnier makes here is presenting that collective hatred as restrained, organized, and calculating, even civil (i half expected them to plan a brunch at one point!), suggesting that its key to survival is to subtly, and not unintelligibly, infect the same groups & spaces we operate in. there's also a really interesting thread, for a film many have read as sadistic, about violence *not* being in our nature; saulnier choosing to highlight all kinds of different ways violence is taught to us (the constant walkthroughs & instructions of attacks, the military paintballers and, of course, the traitorous attack dog) and the way it, in action, perverts the human body. was surprised this time around by how little he actually lingers on the gruesomeness that unfolds, but instead just holds his camera long enough for you to register the mutilation of the human form (hatred, it's not a good look); whether it be a face we just learned split open, a vocal chord torn out or a guitar-playing hand hanging loosely from its wrist. the lesson: don't just turn your head away from this kind of ideological evil, that's where it thrives and, if given the opportunity, constructs its meat grinder. (also, man, that prince name-drop. no way they could've known of course but it hits hard, and the film's context for it couldn't be more perfect -- hiding a thing you truly love behind posturing.)
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