Saturday, 18 March 2017

Get Out

Year of Release:  2017
Director:  Jordan Peele
Screenplay:  Jordan Peele 
Starring:  Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener, Caleb Landry Jones, Stephen Root, LaKeith Stanfield, Lil Rey Howry, 
Running Time:  103 minutes
Genre:  Horror, thriller

This is possibly one of the most important horror films of the last thirty years.  Chris (Kaluuya) is a photographer who has a good relationship with his white girlfriend Rose Armitage (Williams).  However, Chris is about to head up to the suburbs to meet Rose's parents for the first time, and is worried that she hasn't told them that he is black.  Rose's parents, Dean (Whitford) and Missy (Keener), seem pleasant enough, if a little too eager to prove that they are open-minded liberals, but Chris can't help but detect undercurrents of hostility.  To make things even more uncomfortable, the only people of colour around are the family's servants, Walter (Marcus Henderson) and Georgina (Betty Gabriel).  Are the Armitages clueless and insensitive, but essentially well-meaning?  Are they closet racists?  Are is there something stranger and even more sinister going on?

The film sets up a situation that is awkward enough, and all too relateable to many of us, that of meeting our significant other's parents and family for the first time.  To make matters more complex they are a mixed race couple.  Chris puts up with a lot of low-level awkwardness right form the start, which may just be well-meaning white liberals who don't really mean any harm, or could be much worse.  with every interaction you can see him having to decode the hidden subtexts.  However this is a horror film, and writer/director Jordan Peele (one half of comedy duo Key and Peele) obviously knows his horror onions, and the horror/thriller elements work well, particularly in the final third, where the horror elements really kick off, even if the satirical elements don't always gel as well. Horror films have always taken on the preoccupations and fears of the time and place that they were made, but racial issues have been noticeable by their absence.  This is a film of it's time and is important viewing.

Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out

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