In Universal Pictures’ Get Out, a speculative thriller from Blumhouse (producers of The Visit, Insidious series and The Gift) and the mind of Jordan Peele, when a young African-American man visits his white girlfriend’s family estate, he becomes ensnared in a more sinister real reason for the invitation.
Now that Chris (Daniel Kaluuya, Sicario) and his girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams, Girls), have reached the meet-the-parents milestone of dating, she invites him for a weekend getaway upstate with Missy (Catherine Keener) and Dean (Bradley Whitford). At first, Chris reads the family’s overly accommodating behavior as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter’s interracial relationship, but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a truth that he could have never imagined.
What We Thought:
With Get Out, Jordan Peele accomplishes two things. One, he can do more than comedy although there are laugh out loud moments in the film. Two, you can make a movie with social commentary without hitting people over the head with it AND entertain an audience at the same time.
That is one thing most filmmakers forget to do nowadays. They want to get their message across so badly they forget to follow rule one of movies, entertain your viewer. I’m fine with movies that have something to say, but unless you’re entertaining the general movie going audience, no one will care. Critics and others like them will disagree with me, but movies are entertainment first and foremost.
Get Out takes a Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner premise and adds a The Cabin in the Woods twist. An African-American man is meeting the family of his white girlfriend for the first time. They have a nice house in the middle of nowhere, the father is in medicine, the mother a shrink. Very upper class and liberal. But as the film continues, not everything seems to be on the up and up.
Chris, the African-American boyfriend, starts feeling out-of-place. The “help” at the house are also black, but they seem off. The father (the genius that is Bradley Whitford) apologizes for having black help and tells Chris he would have voted for Obama for a third term. The mother (the genius that is Catherine Keener) wants to use hypnosis to help Chris stop smoking. He thinks she does a lot more to him in the process.
A big get together of the whitest white folk you’ve ever seen (trust me, I’m as white as a ghost myself) makes Chris even more uncomfortable and he slowly starts putting pieces together. The third act, which I won’t even hint at spoiling, takes the film to another level with a twist that did remind me of The Cabin in the Woods‘ reveal.
What Peele does best is use the tropes you expect from horror and urban films. I’m a horror fan and clearly Peele seems to be as well. We all know that just because you think you killed someone doesn’t mean they can’t come back and attack you later. And if someone seems like a good guy, he might be one of the worst people around. There’s also a scene where “audience participation” will clearly let you know that “we don’t do that”, meaning black people would never go into an open door they aren’t familiar with.
Plus there is the sidekick, loud mouth friend character Rod who steals the film. He warns his friend about going to the white family’s house and when he explains to the police that his friend is missing and what he thinks happened, it might be the funniest scene in the film. He’s not as over the top as a Chris Tucker character, but I want a spin-off of his TSA agent character immediately.
For his first time going out of the box, Jordan Peele has pretty much hit a home run with Get Out. At times it makes us white people look bad, but then he uses a stereotypical joke that lightens the mood. That’s the key to having something to say, hide it with entertainment. Rage Against the Machine did it for years and us white people had no idea.
Cast & Crew:
- Jordan Peele
- Allison Williams
- Catherine Keener
- Bradley Whitford
- Daniel Kaluuya
- Stephen Root
- Caleb Landry Jones
Recommended If You Like:
- Don’t Breathe
- The Invitation
- Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner