Director Jordan Peele (“Key & Peele’) apparently set out to say much about society in the new comedy horror film “Get Out”. However, there is little humor and few scares in the film, leaving some film fans perplexed, at least based on the post film comments I overheard.
I am not saying the film is all bad, it is just a challenging film to sit through. The plot of the film involves Brooklyn-based photographer Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) preparing to venture to a remote part of New York state with his girlfriend Rose Armitage (Allison Williams) to meet her parents. Cue up the film “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” and you will get the idea. Chris is very nervous and apprehensive about the trip (smart guy), but Allison assures all will be fine when they meet her parents. One bad omen about the journey occurs when a dear violently crashes into their car, and the investigating police office asks for Chris’s driver’s license even though he isn’t driving.
When our duo finally make it to the Armitage estate, they finally meet the parents of Rose, and they are extremely annoying and a bit to enthusiastic. The parents are played by Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener, and the two do everything they can to make Chris feel comfortable, at least until they ask how long “this” (the couple’s relationship) has been going on. Things become even more bizarre when Rose’s brother Jeremy (Caleb Landry Jones) threatens to fight Chris in the dining room. Later in the evening after he awakens, Chris wonders outside where he encounters the strange behavior of groundskeeper Walter (Marcus Henderson) and cook Georgina (Betty Gabriel). After his startling experience, Chris attempts to return to the guest room when he encounters Rose’s mom Missy, who, after convincing him to sit down and chat for a bit, hypnotizes him and puts him in “the sunken place”. You see, Missy is a psychiatrist who has a knack for hypnosis, and has been using her talent for years to subdue people.
When Chris is finally back in his room, he is freaked out by a guy, Logan (LaKeith Stanfield), he calls his friend Rodney Williams (Lil Rel Howery), a TSA officer in an attempt to figure out what is going on at the Armitage estate. Chris is eventually caught in the middle of the dastardly happenings at the estate, and without spoiling the twist, is aided by his friend Rodeny in his efforts to escape the nightmare he has fallen into. The film does feature plenty of shocking moments, and one segment involving surgery made me squirm in my seat. The director has attempted to blend horror with comedy in an effort to convey our country’s ongoing struggle with racism, but I feel he could have done so much more with the topic had the film left out the many over-the-top horror moments. Concerning the actors, Kaluuya is superb and steals the film from the other actors, specifically co-star Williams, who comes off a a reject from any nameless teen drama. I must give kudos to Howery, who bring much needed touches of humor to the film, and is a joy to watch. While “Get Out” does bring up much needed conversation about a serious topic, it left me wanting a better film and wondering what could have been.
(Rated R) **1/2 (out of 4)