Director: Jordan Peele Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener, LilRel Howery Synopsis: A young African-American man visits his Caucasian girlfriend's mysterious family estate (Source: IMDb). Rating: R
As one half of the Comedy Central sketch duo Key & Peele, Jordan Peele has built a career around straddling the line between witty social commentary and straight-up satire. With Get Out, the writer-director examines race in America through the lens of classic suburban thrillers like Rosemary’s Baby and The Stepford Wives. What results is not only the first great horror film of 2017, but one of the year’s first great films, period.
Daniel Kaluuya is magnetic as Chris. He’s a soft spoken, charming African American man who is apprehensive about meeting, for the first time, the parents of his equally charming, Caucasian girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams). Upon arriving at Rose’s lavish childhood home, Chris notices black caretakers overlooking the Armitage’s large plot of land. Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener are delightfully shocking as Mr. and Mrs. Armitage, who assure Chris that things aren’t as they seem.
After an eerily intimate sit-down with Rose’s hypnotist mother, Chris slowly realizes that uncomfortable dinner table discussions are the least of his worries. At this point, Peele gradually dials up the heat on his audience, who now has no choice but to identify with the frog in the pot as circumstances become increasingly dire. In this aspect, Get Out can be classified as a solid thriller. Peele has great instinct for what unnerves people and for stacking the tension psychologically without relying on gimmicky jump scares.
However, sub-textually is where Get Out truly earns its place among the great horror thrillers. Obviously, Chris is the frog in this situation but extrapolating this metaphor further exposes the contentious relationships between the majority and minorities in America, specifically between blacks and whites. Chris is the victim of a very real system designed to exploit his blackness for the ultimate gain of white America. This deeper revelation adds a terrifying new dimension to the horror behind Get Out.