Chris (Daniel Kaluuya: Sicario) is a successful photographer with a promising future and a beautiful girlfriend. Rose (Allison Williams: Girls) is hip, culturally aware and unafraid to call out other people’s racial biases. Still, Chris is nervous when Rose wants to take him home to meet her folks.
Rose promises her parents are as liberal as they come. They voted for Obama! They protested in the 1960s! They’re supporters of the ACLU! Hoping that Rose is right, Chris agrees to spend the weekend at their country home.
Parents Missy (Catherine Keener: Unless) and Dean (Bradley Whitford: Brooklyn Nine-Nine) seem okay, though they throw around hip slang so Chris will know they’re cool, and they tell him they couldn’t be happier with his courtship.
But the weekend wears on strangely. Chris can’t connect to the black servants, who speak as if scripted. To cure Chris of smoking, Missy, a hypnotherapist, hypnotizes him without his consent. At a family party, conversations with him don’t feel right. He is uneasy.
Is he being paranoid? Or is something insidious lurking beneath the Armitage veneer of tolerance?
This brilliant horror take with cutting commentary on racism in America, is one of the smartest films of the year. Writer/director Jordan Peele (Keanu) shows the subtle racism of, for example, the offhanded compliment about a black person’s natural talents for athleticism.
Breaking down the cultural stereotype that black men are aggressors, Peele makes us feel menace in benign situations, like walking down a suburban street. By embedding his commentary in a traditional horror setting, Peele invites us to appreciate the message without feeling lectured or attacked.
The cast supports the vision with outstanding work. As Chris, Kaluuya is masterful as a man who’s dealt with well-meaning racism his whole life but struggles to determine whether Rose’s family is benignly clueless or subtly sinister.
A masterwork of both satire and horror, Get Out is an ingenious summation of the forms of modern racism as well as a suspenseful, funny horror flick.
Great Horror • R • 103 mins.