Published on February 24th, 2017 | by Sasha Glenn0
Written and directed by Jordan Peele, “Get Out” is not so much an actual horror film but more of a dark comedy. The plot is filled with political undertones, spotlighting awkward racial interactions that are shadowed by systemic inequality.
Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) and Rose Armitage (Allison Williams) are a vibrant young couple living in the city. He’s a photographer. Not sure what she does. He’s black. She’s white. After dating for four months, Rose convinces Chris to go on a trip to meet her parents. Chris is apprehensive at first and skeptical about how her parents will react to meeting their daughter’s black boyfriend. Rose laughs that off and everything seems fine as they head to the country.
From this point forward the film starts to build in creepiness. It almost has the feel of an M. Night Shayamalan movie like “The Village.” As the plot develops, the audience knows they are supposed to be suspecting something creepy and sinister hiding behind images of normalcy. So everything begins to take on this feel. Rose’s family lives in a creepily perfect mansion in the country. They have a creepily quiet black groundskeeper and a creepily happy black maid.
Fortunately, two things save this film from becoming a hokey Shyamalan style disappointment. The plot is executed in a comedic fashion and it isn’t completely predictable.
The entire film balances a creepy-funny style. Moments of white people awkwardly trying to appear not-racist also build a suspenseful feeling that something darker is behind the surface.
Rose’s mom Missy (Catherine Keener) specializes in hypnosis. It quickly becomes clear that Missy is using mind control tactics to basically enslave black people. Under her spell, her victims take a psychological fall into a dark abyss and are left in a robotic state. It would have been nice if this aspect of the plot was given more screen time.
The film picks up pace when Rose’s parents host a “family” get together that actually turns out to be essentially a “slave” auction. It almost takes too much time to get to this point in the plot. A few more moments, and it would begin to feel like trudging through a repetitious build up. From here forward, it becomes pretty fast paced as Chris desperately tries to escape a horrific fate.
“Get Out” probably won’t actually scare anyone, but it is highly entertaining in a very dark way.
4 out of 5 stars.