Critic’s Corner: “Get Out”

Michael Ambrosino, General Manager

“Get Out” is a spectacular modern horror movie and is the exciting feature film directing debut from comedian Jordan Peele, one-half of the “Key & Peele” duo. Essentially a creepy cross between “The Stepford Wives” and “Meet the Parents,” Peele takes his clever concept and manages to both scare us and make us laugh. In doing that, he’s also commenting on racism in America. Impressive, I say.

The film follows Chris (played by Daniel Kaluuya), a black man, who is a photographer in a relationship with a white woman, Rose (played by Allison Armitage). The two young lovers drive into the country one weekend to visit Rose’s parents and brother, who Chris will be meeting for the first time, and who are unaware that Chris is black.

After an unsettling incident involving a deer on the road and a racist police officer, the couple show up, where Chris is immediately placed in an uncomfortable position. Rose’s parents-played by Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener-are acting overly, unusually polite to Chris, and the two housekeepers are black people who behave very, very… oddly.

What the film eventually builds to is terrifying. Peele ingeniously ratchets up the tension to a visceral, surprising, genuinely involving and satisfying climax.

The film’s social commentary on racism is strong and throughout but never is it preachy or obnoxious-it never beats the viewer over the head with it. It’s an aspect of the film that’s very important, cleverly implemented into the story and dialogue. It’s also a breath of fresh air.

How often do we see a legitimate horror film that, at the same time, has a few things to say about the world? It could have been a disaster, but Peele handles his material confidently and marvelously.

The movie is unsettling and tense, but also very real. There are amazing sequences in which Rose’s mother performs hypnosis on Chris (another important piece of the film-I dare not give more away), which gives us some cool visual moments. It’s a consistently unnerving film with amazing twists that reveal some very scary stuff about the characters.

With “Get Out,” Jordan Peele proves two things: he’s a damn good storyteller and a damn good director of horror.

If he plans to return to directing, especially horror, he can take my money right now. “Get Out” is an excellent movie.