A Weekend Exit Strategy: Get Out
Get Out takes a look at a weekend trip gone terribly wrong. A New York couple, Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) and Rose Armitage (Allison Williams), take a weekend trip to introduce him to her parents. There, Chris meets Rose's physician father, Dean (Bradley Whitford), and hypnotist mother, Missy (Catherine Keener). Also joining them is Rose's brother, Jeremy (Caleb Landry Jones). The Armitage family housekeeper, Georgina (Betty Gabriel), and groundskeeper, Walter (Marcus Henderson), help to look after Chris during the visit.
After being seen sneaking a smoke outside the house by Georgina and Walter, Missy uses hypnosis to get Chris to stop. Following the trance used by Missy, he finds himself back in his bed, and soon realizes he no longer craves a cigarette. Later that day, the Armitages invite their neighbors to meet Chris and have dinner and other activities. While everyone is cordial to Chris, art dealer Jim Hudson (Stephen Root) knows Chris's work, and admires it. Things grow more odd for Chris when he finds that Georgina as disconnected his charging cell phone. He does call his friend Rod Williams (Lil Rel Howery), his TSA agent friend who'd been trying to reach him. The strangest turn comes when Chris takes a picture of Andre Hayworth (LaKeith Stanfield), who implores him to leave.
Get Out marks the directorial debut of Jordan Peele, who also wrote the script. It's a bit of a departure for the man best known for his comedic work on MADtv and Key & Peele. He uses comedy to break the tension of certain situations, such as Walter running out of nowhere during Chris's attempt to smoke and telling Chris he hoped his exercise didn't startle him. Peele also presents a small and secluded community that seems too good to be true, like Stepford in The Stepford Wives. There's also a bit of Invasion Of The Body Snatchers here as people try and get Chris to conform to their ways. Throughout his story, Peele makes statements about the good and bad in everyone, as well as appreciating the individuality and differences each person has.
Kaluuya makes a good protagonist as Chris, who sees a trap has been set for him, and thinks of ways of making his own exit strategy. He proves himself resourceful as others show a different sort of resourcefulness. Williams, who's best known as one of the title characters in the HBO series Girls, shows a wide-eyed optimism as Rose, whose constant cheer - and occasional concern - hide a deeper purpose. Keener has a pleasant demeanor as Missy, but shows she's dangerous with a teacup. Whitford and Root have fine moments in support as men who present Chris with a warm welcome. Howery delivers much of the comic relief as Rod, who doesn't like to be out of touch with Chris. I especially like his scenes where he can't convince the police to consider Chris a missing person.
Peele may draw a bit on thrillers of the past, but in Get Out, he gives the thriller a fresh and entertaining spin. A weekend with his girlfriend and her family leaves a man wondering if he belongs in his current situation. Chris Washington may accept the change that a relationship brings, but changes others expect make him reconsider everything. He's fine with change, as long as that change isn't made for him.
On a scale of zero to four stars, I give Get Out three stars. Welcome?