Get Out (2017) Movie Review
Just wanted to write this one more time
White liberal racism is given an appropriate send-up in the brilliant new comedy-horror film Get Out. It’s the brilliant new comedy-horror film from writer/director Jordan Peele (Key and Peele) ---
---Confession- I’ve been a fan of Key and Peele from its first season but I could honestly never tell who’s Key and who’s Peele unless they’re together, not because black people look alike but because these particular light-skinned biracial black people with shaved/bald head kind of look alike.
I meant that not to come off as racist but now it reads as super racist. At least it won’t hurt my chances at becoming President.
---Jordan Peele, who, based on this film alone, could have a long and promising career as a director if Keanu 2 doesn’t pan out for whatever reason.
Those of you who felt burned last week having to sit through 2.5 hours of A Cure for Wellness need not worry. Get Out is perfectly paced without an ounce of fat on it. In retrospect, you could probably fit two screenings of Get Out in the time it took you to slog through one of Cure.
You might say the cure for A Cure for Wellness is seeing Get Out #Clever
Watching Get Out, I’m reminded of my favorite sitcom from the 90s, The African-American Hour (you remember it). It’s funny, but it also makes you think.
Get Out opens with a young black man getting killed while walking down the street in what seems to be an affluent white neighborhood. It’s not even the cops that do it. Go figure.
Get Out opens again with a young couple packing. It looks like they’re going on a trip. Here’s the mind-blowing twist.
The man is named Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya). He’s a budding photographer, and…he’s…black!!!
The woman’s name is Rose Armitage (Allison Williams from Girls, one of the whitest shows ever made this side of Downton Abbey), -you might what to sit down for this one because I know you like to read movie reviews standing up- and she’s white!!!
Take a breath. Slowly. You did NOT read that wrong.
If you’d like, you can Google “Interracial Couples” just to check if I’m making this up.
Black Chris and White Rose are an interracial couple and they are packing because they are going to visit Rose’s parents for the weekend.
Rose did not mention to her parents that her new black boyfriend was black because she didn’t think it would matter. Chris isn’t so sure.
On the drive, Rose hits a deer. A cop gets involved. It goes about as you might expect when there’s a cop and a black person involved.
No, the black guy doesn’t get shot, but it does get a little testy.
Rose and Chris finally make it up to the house. It’s a very nice house as Chris surmises that the Armitages are reasonably well off.
Dean Armitage (Bradley Whitworth) is a world-renowned brain surgeon.
Missy Armitage (Catherine Keener) is a successful psychiatrist. She’s also a hypnotist and offers to help Chris get rid of the smoking habit he’s trying so hard to hide.
The older Armitages are initially welcoming of Chris and go out of their way to show how liberal and progressive they are (“I would have voted for Obama a 3rd time if I could”).
Chris tries not to take too much notice of the fact that all the Armitage’s servants are black, and they speak in a way that’s rather…quaint. He can’t put his finger on it but something feels off.
Later in the afternoon Rose mentions to Chris that their appearance for the weekend coincides with a party the Armitages throw every year.
Chris is just going to have to meet more old white people.
Strangely enough, the old white people seem happy to meet Chris, but this doesn’t seem to make Chris feel better about anything as they fawn over him like an exotic pet or a novelty act.
Chris sees another black guy, who happens to married to a white woman twice his age. His interaction with him is disconcerting, to say the least, and before too long Chris is starting to wonder if black lives really do matter.
You want Chris to get out as soon as possible, but it may be too late for him, as well as the audience.
What Works With Get Out
- If you watch horror films with the Blumhouse logo in front of the credits, you’re used to cheap jump scares every couple of minutes just make sure the audience is getting their money’s worth. For most if its running time, Get Out doesn’t rely on cheap scares, instead building a palpable sense of dread on a scene-by-scene basis. Who knew a shot of an uncharged phone or a game of bingo could be so unsettling?
- A simple scene in a living room with Oscar-nominee Catherine Keener and newcomer Daniel Kaluuya is one of the scariest scenes of ’17 (or even ’16). You’ll never look at a cup of tea the same way.
- At first it seems like the Funny Black Sidekick character of Rod (scene-stealing LilRel Howery) belongs in another movie, but you realize how necessary he is as he keeps things light and vulgar amidst all the heavier revelations
What Doesn't Work With Get Out
- An implausibly (and conveniently) placed stack of Polaroid pictures that appear for no other reason than to conveniently (and implausibly) move the plot along.
Also, who keeps a stack of Polaroid pictures anymore? In 2017, no less…
Get out of your house to see Get Out, the best horror film of the new year. You’ll be thankful you saw it and grateful that black people and other minorities only have to worry about fictional scares of the movies and not real life.