Horror movies are not something you will find reviewed on these pages very often at all as frankly it is a movie genre we loathe and tend to avoid them as often as we can. We did naturally have to make an exception for Jordan Peele’s ‘Get Out’ which we have been extremely curious about ever since the movie had an unannounced sneak preview at Sundance last January which created an enormous industry buzz.
Peele, better known as being one half of the Comedy Central duo Key & Peele, flew solo to make his feature film writing and directing debut for what has become of the rare box-office hits this year that has also received practically unanimous rave reviews.
It’s the tale of a young city couple Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and Rose (Allison Williams) who have been dating a few months and have got to that critical stage in their relationship where Rose wants to take him home to meet her parents. He is not that keen on the idea especially as (white) Rose has yet to tell her folks that Chris is an African/American.
Her parents live a very comfortable large house and are feel-good ultra-liberal professionals who greet the couple with if anything, too welcoming arms. Dean (Bradley Whitford) is a neurosurgeon and his wife Missy (Catherine Keener) is a Psychoanalyst who specializes in hypnotherapy, and cannot wait to have Chris take a session wth her so she can get him to quit smoking.
Until Rose’s fiery-headed brother Jeremy (Caleb Landry Jones ) arrives for dinner, the only other people in the house are a rather odd African/American middle-aged couple who look after the house and the family. Dean explains them away by revealing he had employed them to look after his aged parents, and when they had died, he just kept them on. Georgina (Betty Gabriel) the housekeeper has a permanent smile eerily fixed on her face as she gives her monosyllabic answers, while Walter (Marcus Henderson ) her husband who looks after the grounds treats Chris’s arrival courteously, but with disdain.
When the house is invaded next day by the family’s neighbors and friends for an annual Garden Party, Chris is shocked to find that there is only one other token black man in the crowd. Andrew (Lakeith Stanfield) is an odd fish who objects when Chris greats him like a ‘bro’ and he actually flares up when Chris attempts to take a photograph, and has be rescued and calmed down by Andrew’s much older white wife.
Missy gets her way with Chris later that night when he is somewhat disorientated and she manages to trick him into being hypnotized and although it does immediately stop his craving for cigarettes , next morning when he wakes up, he realizes that now that is the very least of his worries.
The plot that started to echo that of ‘Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner‘ now evolves into a more sinister version of the ‘Stepford Wives‘ when it appears that no-body in this household is what they seem, and that they have plans to use Chris’s body to add to their number.
It does turn into a bloody carnage at one point, but despite the excessive violence. Peele imbues the script with more than it s fair share of humor, so that it plays out more like a comedy at times. Underlying all this is the fact that what he has created is a brilliant race-satire with his modern tale of how these rich white folk have found a way to still perpetuate slavery. This itself is far more shocking and offensive than any of the physical brutality itself, or even the fact that for once, it is all the ‘evil’ white people who get killed off.
Peele’s spellbinding thriller has all the benefits of a splendid talented cast, but also the services of brilliant cinematographer in Toby Oliver who heightened the tension so effective with his highly stylized vision.
Get Out is about as flawless as a movie can be and even though it confirms Peele as a new major cinematic force, it will still not have us rushing back to now cover tother horror movies, as they simply couldn’t be as good as this .