A man is nervous about meeting his girlfriends parents for the first time. They’ve been dating for five months and it’s nothing out of the ordinary – though his biggest concern is that she hasn’t told them that he’s black. But hey – this is 2017, that should hardly be a cause for concern… Right?
Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and his girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams) head out to her parents isolated home for the weekend. Her dad is a doctor and her mother a hypnotherapist, and except for Rose’s slightly crude brother, they’re as lovely and welcoming as could be. What makes Chris uncomfortable is the black groundskeeper and maid that the Armitage’s have. Though coming across as a little cotton picking pre Civil War, there is a valid reason for their presence so Chris pushes through to survive the weekend.
Being the only black person, surrounded by a group of white people isn’t new territory for Chris, and he handles the strange advances from the Armitage’s friends during their annual get together with finesse. However Chris’ instinct that something isn’t quite right comes to fruition when he meets Leon – the only other black guy at the party whose face screams familiarity, but whose whole demeanour is worrying. Taking a picture to send to his friend for confirmation about his identity – Leon snaps and attacks Chris. His behaviour brushed off as an epileptic fit. Chris thinks it might be time to pack up and leave while he can.
Get Out was written and directed by Jordan Peele – known to me and most as a comedian, – and so when I heard he had made a horror movie, I was intrigued not just by the concept but by how such a composition was born. The movie itself is described as a Comedy Horror, and coming from someone who normally doesn’t watch horror movies because it makes them laugh (and in the cinema nobody wants to be that guy), I don’t believe the two married together that well.
I won’t lie and say that parts of it weren’t funny, as I thought a lot of the organic comedic elements came from Chris’ random one liners. My main concern was Chris’ friend Rod (Lil Rel Howery) whose comedy, though at times amusing, mostly felt forced for the movie.
Scary is the wrong descriptive word for this movie, a better term would be; creepy as hell. In its twisted storyline though there are not so subtle themes of racism, the characters didn’t come across as racist to me namely because of their reasoning. It was cited “black people are trending” which made me think that in a few months time the Armitage’s could be after white or Asian people and their goal wasn’t just to collect black people.
As I am currently in the process of watching The West Wing I am going to take a second to mention Bradley freaking Whitford who played Rose’s dad – Dean Armitage. Not only was he the perfect other half of a model parental couple, his face was unrecognisable. Had it not been for his voice and similar mannerisms, I may not have even noticed him. Wow.
Back on topic and I will say that my two favourite things about Get Out was firstly the scene where all the old people were playing Bingo. That game will never feel the same to me again. Secondly was the visual impact and high creativity levels when it came to actualising being in “the sunken place.”
After an hour and a half of foreplay, it took about ten minutes for things to come to a close, which I thought was severely disappointing as it didn’t give the audience time to speculate an alternative ending for Chris. Everything happened just as we saw it would.
I haven’t seen a “scary movie” in cinema since Insidious, which I thought was far from terrifying – though where it differs from Get Out, and why the latter will have a longer lasting effect is because of its easy placement in our reality. I’m not saying white partners are kidnapping their ethnic spouses for villainous purposes… just that something about the whole narrative didn’t feel so unrealistic.
Side Note: Daniel Kaluuya is another Skins success story having worked alongside Dev Patel and Nicholas Holt, and is another British actor breaking away from the constraints of the British Television and Movie industry.