A wicked, imperative horror satire.
Modern horror is a bit naff, we can all probably agree there. Aside from a few diamonds in the rough (The Conjuring and The Babadook are two big hitters), there’s not been much to satisfy our palate. So when Jordan Peele, half of Key and Peele and first time director, takes on both racism and horror and pulls it off, we should shout it from the hills.
Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) spends a weekend at his girlfriend Rose’s (Allison Williams) parents house. Despite worries over racial conflict, things seem to be okay – a bit too okay. When he starts to notice the strangeness of his surroundings, the stress of meeting the parents isn’t all he has on his mind.
Racism is a tricky subject to illustrate; go heavy handed and you’re accused of going too far, don’t tackle it enough and you’re accused of brushing over it. Peele’s satire is ferociously biting, painting the bigots in Chris’ company in such a way that it tiptoes around comedy. Don’t be fooled, Get Out is often funny, hilarious even. From our first encounter with the parents (including a terrific turn from Bradley Whitford), to a montage of the subtle racism Chris goes up against, to LilRel Howery’s terrific oddball advice. It’s not aggressive racism by any means, but an equally despicable breed – justifying the presence of a black person to the point it’s clear they aren’t happy with it. At one point a white gentleman utters “Black is in fashion” – right minded people will cringe and rage.
The awkward chats and anxious glares are where most of Get Out‘s fun lies. Peele constantly slaps the white liberals in the face, poking fun at their racist insecurities. But don’t fret, this isn’t just a funny satire; it’s very much a horror. Often disturbing and easily one of the best this decade, there’s no ghosts or paranormal activities in site, instead opting to take the plot in ridiculous directions but managing to give sense to them. Our first majorly weird turn in a hypnosis scene is not only nauseating, but showcases some sublime acting from Kaluuya. That iconic close up is one for the ages.
That’s not to say it all works perfectly, for example not every jump scare lands, and some of the more outlandish plot points are perhaps a bit much, but in a landscape of mediocrity, this is an absolute treat. Peele is one-to-watch for the future, especially if he has gems like this up his sleeve. Racism is a mindless entity anyway, and despite the fact we’re in the 21st century, it’s rather painful that Get Out is so relevant.
To sum it up…
This is more than intelligent horror, it’s one of the most important films this year, powerful and to the point. Don’t Get Out, get in.
Rating: PURE DYNAMITE!
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Author: Cameron Frew