Chris Washington has been invited to meet his white girlfriend’s parents. She assures him that although she hasn’t told them that her new boyfriend is black, her parents will be accepting, and indeed they are. In the worst possible way.
Released more than a month ago and still holding a 99% Rotten Tomatoes score, Jordan Peele’s creepy take on racism and the dynamics of interracial relationships has staying power not usually seen in films, let alone horror films. Best known as one half of the hilarious comedy duo Key and Peele, Peele surprised moviegoers with a smart, scary and funny film that actually incites conversation. With a definite nod to films like The Stepford Wives, Get Out is a gritty, edgy look at society in all its squirm-inducing ugliness.
Chris (Daniel Kaluuya, Sicario, Johnny English) arrives at Rose’s (Allison Williams, Girls) family estate and immediately notices what the audience does: a plantation-like estate, over-accommodating white folk and of course, the help. The decidedly black help, housekeeper Georgina (Betty Gabriel, The Purge, Good Girls) and groundskeeper Walter (Marcus Henderson, Django Unchained). Rose’s father (Bradley Whitford, The West Wing, Cabin in the Woods) goes out of his way to prove to Chris that he’s liberal and open-minded…and you’ll be sinking into your chair listening to him do it. By the time the viewer realizes the real agenda, Chris is in over his head and if you’re anything like the audiences in both of the showings that I attended, you’ll be yelling at the screen for him to Get Out too.
Peele hasn’t done away with the stereotypical characters either, like the endearing sidekick friend Rod, played impeccably by comedian Lil Rel Howery. He’s wonderfully cynical and perfectly embodies that one friend we all have that we should probably listen to but don’t. In Get Out, however, the sidekick finally gets his richly deserved chance to shine.
The suspense here is a nice slow burn, but the film doesn’t pull any punches. It contains just enough scares to make it fun, enough social commentary to keep you and your friends talking for weeks, and is a perfect example of how a film like this can force us to turn the camera on ourselves…and observe just how scary we can be.