“Get Out” (2017)
Directed by Jordan Peele
Running Time 103 Minutes, Rated R.
4 Mitch’s out of 5
There is nothing like a very good horror film to tap into the focused mistreatment of a wronged group or a social dynamic that has been broken in some way. Whether it be man's controlling of women in “Stepford Wives” and “Rosemary’s Baby”, or South Korea’s passivity to the U.S.A’s bullying in “The Host”, or the rampant Reagan era consumerism in Romero’s “Dawn of the Dead”, these films were spot on with a minority’s view toward their abuse and were damn good scary thrillers on their own. You can now add Jordan Peele (yes, Peele from the spot on sketch comedy “Key & Peele”) to the list with his racially charged horror/comedy masterstroke “Get Out”.
There's outright hatred racism where a person is attacked only for the color of their skin and that’s how “Get Out” begins as a young black man is snatched up by a masked man who pulls up in a blinding white corvette. Then there’s the ‘thinly veiled’ racism that confuses that when we elected President Obama racism was cured in America. Ala passive aggressive racism that I saw the other day where at my job a fellow employee who swears not to have anything against black people couldn’t understand why so many blacks were nominated for Oscars this year. Like this only happened to make up for last years political protests instead of there just being plenty of great contributions from black people in the industry. It’s that kind of racism that is hiding around every corner for a black person that must make America feel like a real horror film, and that’s where this film truly scares the ‘same colored shit as everyone else on this planet’ out of me.
Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) is a black photographer who is doing so well with his white girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams) that it’s time to meet her parents. With growing trepidation he asks her if her parents know that he’s black. She laughs off the question saying her father will tell him that he would have voted for President Obama a third term if possible..and he does. They drive off to her parents house in a tucked away very white suburbia off the lake and even though little insensitivities come along in meeting Rose’s parents (played excellently by Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener) his reserved demeanor shrugs them off.
While Rose’s father explains away why they have a black maid and a black gardener, Chris can’t help but notice how odd their demeanor comes off. More and more Chris shrugs off the signs until the warnings become unshruggable and the horror takes hold. Peele will have the morally afflicted angered in this film but he will also have the horror fan freaked out. His tonal shifts are perfect, his editing is so acute, and his actors are so finely tuned that “Get Out” fires on all cylinders. Don’t want to give anymore away than that but please, ‘get in’ line for this film.