Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Get Out Film Review

Back in October I saw the trailer for Get Out, a thriller horror by first time director Jordan Peele. And starring BBC3's The Fades Daniel Kaluuya and pretty Allison Williams. It opened Friday.

A guy is hopelessly lost in the burbs when meeting friends but fortunately a car stops and picks him up. Then stuffs him in the boot. 5 months later talented photographer Chris, he has a good eye, and sweet girlfriend Rose, are planning a Meet the Parents weekend. Wealthy liberals they'll be cool with the fact he's black. Although she's never had a black boyfriend, Dad would have voted Obama in for a third term. Best President ever. Chris is a little unsure and even his friend Rod, a policeman in the TSA, played by LilRel Howery, is sceptical of what the rich parents welcome might be.

En-route they have an altercation with a white policeman, but Dean, played by Bradley Whitford and Missy, played by Catherine Keener, couldn't be friendlier. He's a surgeon and she's a psychiatrist. The only real discomfort Chris feels is with the black help Georgina, played by Good Girl's Revolt's Betty Gabriel, and Walter, played by Marcus Henderson. Let's be kind and say they seem a little staccato in their responses. Dean said they came to help with elderly parents and when they died they kept them on. They're just like family. In a Stepford Wives style family maybe. While talking later to Walter, Chris begins to think the gardener has a thing for Rose, which she finds hilarious.

Brother Jeremy also turns up for dinner. Caleb Landry Jones a little arrogant as rich white young men aiming to be surgeons like their father can sometimes be. Dean suggests that Missy could help Chris with his smoking habit. He said she helped him kick the habit and he feels sick now when he thinks of a cigarette.

In bed later Chris decides to get up for that cigarette. He spies Georgina though the kitchen window and Walter training in the garden. He's a fast runner, nearly knocking Chris over. Back inside Missy invites him into her office where he talks about his childhood. Father left when he was young and his mother died in a hit and run when he was a child.

A disturbed night follows, and with Chris unable to face a cigarette next day, he tells Rose he thinks her Mum has hypnotised him. He gets upset later when Georgina unplugs his mobile when cleaning the bedroom. But she comes to apologise with tears in her eyes saying sorry but she knocked the plug out, and didn't know what to do so left it.

Rose forgot this was her parent's big annual weekend party. With all their rich white friends coming. Again they're all so friendly. Feeling a little like a show pony on display, Chris wanders off and meets a friendly blind art dealer called Jim. Played by Stephen Root, he knows of Chris's work and is a big fan. Chris also spies a brother, albeit dressed like Uncle Remus out for a stroll in his Sunday best. Played by Lakeith Stanfield with a rich white older lady on his arm.

Chris cannot wait to tell Rod about this party. The strange behaviour of the guests and the even stranger behaviour of the staff. And this black dude who seems familiar. Rod thinks they're all sex slaves.

Talking later with Uncle Remus part of the group, Chris tries to take a sly phone shot, but the flash goes off freezing Uncle Remus who then has a nose bleed. And an epileptic fit as Rose's father, the doctor, advises afterwards, but he'll be okay. And he does seem okay as he apologises later for frightening everyone. To break the tension Dean suggests they play a game of bingo. Yeah rich folks sure are strange.

Chris still cannot shake off the feeling that something is wrong. Not knowing what but definitely something. On the phone later to Rod who checks out the photo and says they know him. He's a dude from Brooklyn. But he's been missing for 6 months....

I watched the movie with a heightened sense of dread. My whole body tense. The twist wasn't revealed until much later and the film built this tension well. I still keep thinking of things and puzzle over them. And then I remember the real horror of what was happening. A box office hit on a shoestring budget. It deserves all it's success, the cast were terrific and Jordan Peele has created a horror movie that's not the usual creaks and scares. Also a first for an African American writer/director to break the $100m barrier with his first film. And to win CinemaCon Director of the Year Award.

Go see it.

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