Saturday, February 25, 2017

"Get Out" Is Sharp, Funny, And Eerily Relevant

Sketch comedy actor Jordan Peele from Key and Peele as well as MADtv makes an interesting leap behind the camera to bring us us a satirical horror film that brings out plenty of laughs but atypical scares. There aren't any jump scares and there's no boogeyman because it relies heavily on horrors of the real world, mixing colorful wit with depictions race relations in America.

Get Out follows the story of a mixed race couple, a photographer named Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and his girlfriend Rose (Alison Williams) who go to visit Rose's parents, Dean and Missy Armitage (Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener). While her parents seem welcoming at first despite Chris' worries at first over whether they'll be accepting despite the fact he is black, over the course of the weekend, Chris begins to sense that something is amiss in the more affluent community he is amongst. Especially when two black servants in the Armitage household, Georgina (Betty Gabriel) and Walter (Marcus Henderson), act strangely.

While there is a strong directing voice from Jordan Peele, his greatest strength lies in his screenplay. The conversations amongst the characters is what helps gives the film its sharpness. For example, when Chris first meets Dean, Dean goes "I would've voted for Obama a third time!" as his way of saying "I'm not racist!" Also, Chris expresses his anxiety over meeting Rose's parents because of how she doesn't tell him that they are unaware of the fact he is black. So the dialogue by Peele is what helps the film's depiction of racial tension unfold.

Aside from the satire, there are moments that are actually laugh out loud hilarious thanks to a performance from Lil' Rel Howery as Chris' TSA friend Rod Williams who does his own investigation into the mysterious community that Chris is residing with. But lead actor Daniel Kaluuya carries the film very well, expressing both realistic anxiety and charismatic magnetism. He is a talent to watch and thankfully somebody we will see in bigger things thanks to his involvement in the upcoming Black Panther movie for Marvel.

As witty as the film gets, there are a few homages to horror films of the past. There's elements of the original The Stepford Wives because of how the story involves a person in a seemingly sugary community with something sour bubbling underneath the surface. There is even a bit of Rosemary's Baby because of how our main character gets the sense that almost everyone is against him mixed with a screechy 60's-style musical score.

So Get Out is a very unique experience with how it offers hilarity mixed with horror and shock value in the form of real-world issues that weave in powerful social commentary as well. I would say "Get Out" and go see this!!!

Grade: A

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