For many years the Editor as a child was under the impression that his name was either Get Out, Shut up and on occasions Bugger Off but we digress because this week’s film is an engaging thriller from the makers of low budget horror blockbusters Blumhouse Productions, the company behind The Purge, Sinister, Insidious, Ouija and the recent Split all making big money.
Here Chris (played by the British actor Daniel Kaluuya) is the black boyfriend of Rose (Allison Williams, something of a younger Jennifer Connolly / Zooey Deschanel hybrid) who is excited to take him home to meet her liberal parents and tries to assuage his fear that her father is open to mixed race relationships and that he even voted for Obama. It’s this liberal attempt at multiculturalism that the film succeeds so well at poking fun at and when they get to her parents her Dad, Bradley, who looks like a David Fincher/Richard Dreyfuss hybrid)greets him with a cringingly awful appropriation of street talk that’s only a whisker away from yelling ‘Whatssssssup!’ Despite their liberal credentials the parents still have a black house staff including a maid and a grounds man in their huge house. But Chris starts to notice the slightly strange behaviour of the staff as they go about their chores in an almost zombie like manner. Rose’s father, Bradley, is a surgeon and her Mum, Missy, is a psychologist who’s developed a hypnotism technique that could help cure Chris of his smoking habit. Rose family, her home in fact everything is all too perfect and for that reason it just doesn’t seem right and, unable to sleep one night, he wanders the house and soon finds his suspicions confirmed and talks to Missy who also can’t sleep and falls under her spell in a sequence that will put you on edge whenever you hear a spoon stirring a cup again.
After a load of films like ‘12 years a slave’ and the recent ‘Moonlight’ which are all pretty heavyweight and solemn in their approach to racism whereas ‘Get Out’ deals with the issue in a far more accessible yet equally effective manner while still making its point perhaps best of all in a party sequence where nearly all white attendees struggle to find common ground with Chris and attempt to ingratiate themselves in to his company with their perception of the black experience by talking about Tiger Woods. For once Chris as portrayed by Kaluuya is not a bad boy rapper, a street thug or wannabe gangster but is a decent non stereotypical black male only occasionally let down by lapses into lines which undermine it (‘This bitch is crazy!’) and it fails to wholly avoid stereotypes with his friend Rod, an airport security guard played by LilRel Howery in what is the comedy role, but reverts to stereotype as he peppers his talk with profanities and hysteria.
This is actor / writer Jordan Peele’s debut as a director and it manages to be both horrific and hilarious as well slyly satirical.
Here’s the trailer…….