Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Movie Review: Get Out (2017)

Get Out (2017) - Written and Directed by Jordan Peele; Starring Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener, Stephen Root, Lakeith Stanfield, LilRel Howery.

By Kenny Howell

It should tell you something that Get Out, the new horror film from Jordan Peele, deserves to have long think pieces written about it.

I am sure there are plenty of them already out there, and someone much smarter than me has really unpacked Peele's film. But you don't have to dig deep into it. It is part of what makes it so good. It works on multiple levels, and that is probably why it has been such a big hit. It is a great popcorn film and social satire on race relations.

The story itself is about an interracial couple, Chris and Rose, who go to meet the Rose's parents for the first time. She has never had an African American boyfriend, and hasn't told them him is, so it makes Chris, played brilliantly by Daniel Kaluuya (Sicario), nervous. Rose (Allison Williams) assures him that her parents aren't racist, just occasionally casually and unwittingly so, warning him that his dad will flaunt that he would have voted for Obama for a third term.

After a somewhat adventurous ride to their house, Rose's parents Missy and Dean, played by the always reliable Bradley Whitford (Other People) and Catherine Keener (Begin Again), welcome him with open arms. He is a neurosurgeon, and she is a psychiatrist, and everything seems to be going great until Chris notices their is something off with their gardener and housekeeper. They are both African American as well, but they have a creepy, 1950s-ish vibe to them, which starts to put Chris on edge. Things get weirder and weirder, especially when Missy hypnotizes Chris under the guise of helping him quit smoking. However, it seems more apparent that something more sinister is going on there.

From there, Peele takes you in the strangest, cleverest of places, through a movie that is stunningly original and very much its own thing. It is obviously surprising since Peele has made his name in the sketch comedy TV show Key & Peele, and in other comedy films. Get Out does have plenty of funny moments, that is still there, but it isn't the driving force of the film. Peele has plenty to say about casual and out right racism, and he beautifully folds it into this genre horror film that is totally unique. It is a momentous achievement, and makes me hope that we have witnessed the beginning of the career of the next great filmmaker, one that I never would have expected.

Rating: ****

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