The IMDB description for Get Out is comprised of eleven hilariously understated words:
“A young African-American man visits his Caucasian girlfriend’s mysterious family estate.”
Eleven words that anyone with a pulse and/or functioning intellect would understand to be incredibly complex and full of subtextual nuance, especially in the USA.
Chris, a successful photographer in New York, takes a weekend trip with his girlfriend Rose to meet her family at their estate in the country. The trip is off to a troubled start when he asks if her family knows he is black, a point she glosses over as unimportant. She just can’t believe her family would care about such things! Obviously Chris, having a little more experience with such things, has misgivings.
Yeah, he’s right.
Lots of people will go into the theater expecting a horror movie. They will get one, and walk out sated on violence, witty dialogue, and thrilling suspense. It has a 99% on Rotten Tomatoes (I feel very proud that I guessed the one bad review was by Armond White). They will also get a brilliant and subtle psychological thriller that unpacks a variety of racial tensions in the US without doing a disservice to the audience’s intelligence.
Although the action and violence are well-done, for my money the awkward social situations were where the movie really came to life, particularly the dinner scene with Rose’s prep-school/ivy league psycho brother. So did a heartbreaking and also terrifying scene with the family maid, Georgina. Overall the tone in the film is tense and foreboding, and although there are jokes, they are of the nervous laughter type and mostly come from Chris’s interactions with Rose’s vast number of elderly white relatives or Chris’s best friend Rod.
You should totally go see Get Out. Great performances and tight writing all around. I suspect it will be a sleeper hit, and I cannot wait to see what writer/director Jordan Peele, of Key and Peele fame, does next.
And just because it’s Friday, here’s one of my favorite skits of theirs, which showcases the utterly bugnuts flavor of their comedy, if you are somehow unfamiliar.
My new life goal is to become a character actress just so I can play a creepy white person in Peele’s next movie. I think I’ve got a pretty good shot at ‘scary bar hag’ at least!