Get Out

 photo get_out_ver2_zpsfkozcn69.jpg photo starrating-4stars.jpgA young black man has anxiety about meeting his white girlfriend’s parents for the first time. Get Out, with its race-baiting premise, would seem a bit outdated in 2017. Interracial dating is nothing new.  Rest assured director Jordan Peele knows this. Rose (Allison Williams) can’t wait to introduce Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) to her parents. They arrive at the Armitage estate. Rose’s mom (Catherine Keener) and dad (Bradley Whitford) are quite genial, excessively so in fact.  Yet something is amiss. There’s the groundskeeper, Walter (Marcus Henderson), their maid Georgina (Betty Gabriel) and a guest at their party named Logan (LaKeith Stanfield). All African American and all exhibit an odd demeanor. What initially felt like Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner now seems closer to The Stepford Wives.

Jordan Peele merely raises the issue of race but doesn’t delve too deeply. It’s left to the moviegoer as to what they will take away from this story. A less introspective viewer may simply see “white people are evil” but look deeper and there’s an ample minefield of racial tension to explore. The director begins with the surface level awkwardness felt between a black man in a sea of affluent white people. It’s not just about Chris’ racial unease. It’s about how the townspeople try to empathize with Chris in that situation. They want to be seen as altruistic people. Those feelings manifest into socially inept behavior. They attempt to atone for his experience with overly polite, almost pandering conversation.

The screenplay capitalizes on this notion with artlessly misguided remarks at first. At the outset, Rose insists her liberal parents are really cool. She tries to ally Chris’ fears with “My dad would vote for Obama for a third term if he could.” Later there’s a party scene where Chris must navigate a maze of warm pleasantries, tinged with passively racist undertones. One guest enthusiastically extols the athletic achievements of Olympian Jesse Owens at the 1936 Olympics. Another who plays golf goes out of his way to tell Chris that he’s a big fan of Tiger Woods. The overcompensating comments come across like white guilt. That’s funny but then the narrative exploits this nervousness into the fear felt by an outsider. The entire audience ultimately feels it too.

Get Out strikes a nice balance between terror and comedy. There’s a satirical edge to the proceedings that elevates this horror flick into something rather intelligent. Most of the scares are psychological. Hypnosis is introduced as a frightening state of consciousness. That the clicking of a teacup could be a weapon more powerful than a loaded gun is a concept that is both amusing and disconcerting at the very same time. A trigger with the ability to render a person powerless. Ok, there is some blood in the third act, but there’s very little viscera. The R rating is mainly for language. As Get Out unfolds to its inevitable conclusion we the audience understand this environment from Chris’ perspective, The final twist is the perfect cap to a tale that has toyed with race for the entire duration. By the end, the script confronts the issue in a way that is both subversive and unique.

02-23-17

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17 Responses to “Get Out”

  1. smilingldsgirl Says:

    I enjoyed it also and it is one my brother and I have been talking about since we saw it and realizing different parts we didnt at first. It’s very rewatchable. My only flaw was the beginning stretched out a little long for me and I got restless but it won me over

    • There’s so much more here than initially meets the eye. Chris’ perspective of her white liberal parents and their “open-minded” friends was trenchant satire. There were several comments (especially at that party) that just made me cringe.

  2. Nice review Mark. While I am a fan of Jordan Peele, I was very disappointed with Get Out and found the movie to be a mess. While I enjoyed much of the film’s satire, particularly during the cringe-worthy part sequences, I found the story and characters to be very underbaked, and the ending to me struck me as a Death Wish-esque fantasy rather than achieving anything really poignant or deep. I really wanted to like Get Out but unfortunately was let down.

    • Get Out is so open ended in its presentation that the analysis of what exactly it’s satirizing differ. One review claims it attacks liberals. Another states that it’s meant to appease them. Some don’t even think it’s a satire at all but just a straight ahead revenge fantasy. I find it fascinating that this is open to so many interpretations.

  3. There are really good layers to this. I can’t wait to watch again (at home, though). Final act felt a little too Key and Peele-like for me, but was still entertaining.

    Agree with you that the horror doesn’t like in the “boo!” aspect but the everyday, latent aspect. It’s real stuff.

  4. Sorry Mark, thought I left a comment already. This movie was really surprising. It was getting SO much hype and it still sits at 99% on RT, I was thinking I was bound to be disappointed by it given those things but this movie is for real. It’s mostly entertaining, but it’s smart as well. I think a new talent has arrived on the scene.

    • It’ll be interesting to see what Jordan Peele does next. Earlier in 2016 he was a writer/producer on the action-comedy Keanu. I’m encouraged to check that out now.

      • Keanu was pretty funny but he’s hit the jackpot with Get Out. Thst movie is really impressive. Keanu is more of what you’d expect out of the Comedy Central guys

  5. I hadn’t even heard of this movie. Saw the reviews and thought, wow! 100%. I was blown away! It was eerie, different, funny and I loved it. The ending was so great! 4 stars

  6. I loved Get Out. It’s my favorite movie of the year so far. I dig how it explores race, concentrating on Chris’ unease with being outnumbered, setting that atmosphere against the socially inept, misguided remarks that people at the party make in conversation. I feel like that kind of subtle racism is something that movies don’t often explore. I agree that the movie strikes a nice balance between terror and comedy, and that its satire is quite intelligent. Scares are psychological, but they still got to me, especially his descent into paralysis under hypnosis. Like you, I thought the end provided an excellent twist, and the perfect cap to the film.

    • First they had Split, now Get Out. Blumhouse Productions are on a roll this year. Not bad for a production company that started in 2009 with Paranormal Activity.

  7. Now this looks like an unusual movie that both chills and makes a comment on issues. I must see it.

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