February 24, 2017

R: February 24th, 2017 | R: 104 minutes | R: R

“Get Out” is going to be one of this year’s top films to beat. A comical and suspenseful thriller, the film centers around the awkward, uncomfortable, and eventually life-threatening experience of young black photographer Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) as he travels with his white girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams) to meet her suburbanite parents, hypnotist Missy and neurosurgeon Dean (played by Catherine Keener and Bradley Whitford). Anticipating their possible shock and dismay at the color of his skin (believing himself to be Rose’s first black boyfriend), Chris is caught a bit off guard by the Armitage’s seemingly unhesitant, pleasant welcome and overwhelming need to make him feel comfortable. Contrary to their attempts, but in line with their behavior (and that of those they represent) the Armitage’s and their friends efforts to make Chris feel comfortable serve to only cause him further discomfort. Chris, at first seemingly used to these everyday microaggressions and the casual awkwardness of seemingly unintentional racism, starts to become suspicious after noticing the strange behavior exhibited by those he attempts to turn to for some semblance of normalcy and actual comfort, the three and only, other black people around. As he begins to question his surroundings and the behavior and motivation- of his hosts more, Chris finds himself in an even more terrifying situation than he could have anticipated.

The casting is perfect. Kaluuya is fantastic as Chris, a character whose situations, emotions, and reactions as the-only-black-person-in-a-room-full-of-white-people are all too relatable. As his romantic counterpart, Williams is very convincing as the seemingly well-intentioned but naive young liberal white woman who’s frustrated with her family’s microaggressive behavior towards her black boyfriend. Keener and Whitford are perfect as her attempt-to-appear-enlightened suburban parents with their liberal white elite brand of racism. Both actors are extremely gifted at portraying the secretly creepy, characters who you feel uncomfortable with despite their sinister intentions being masked by pleasant, smiling facades. And Lil Rel Howery perfectly rounds the cast out as Chris’ TSA friend Rod providing much needed comic relief during some very intense moments and an unusual voice of reason.

“Get Out” flips a lot of Hollywood and horror film tropes, as well as real life racial ones, on their heads. It puts the reality of black anxiety at its center, from the opening scene of a black man (Keith Stanfield) walking alone through white suburbia to scenes with the arrival of a police car all marking danger and impending doom for its black characters. The real and relevant risks displayed in these scenes- alluding to situations we’re all too familiar with (the case of Trayvon Martin, police brutality, and mistreatment of black people/victims)- showcase the everyday horrors black people have to contend with, making the new and unexpected horrors introduced in the film even more terrifying because of how real the threat seems to be.

In his directorial debut, Jordan Peele truly displays his depth of talent. A racial satire and profound social critique, “Get Out” is hilarious, terrifying, and all too real!

Rating: 3 out of 5

Billy Billy (Editor) - Billy has seen many movies over the years. He enjoys comedies and anything action, including the summer blockbuster movies. You can follow Billy on Twitter here.
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