With racial tensions ever increasing, most moviegoers probably have little desire to see Get Out, a horror-comedy film about interracial relations and white prejudice.
Maybe if Get Out was released at a different time, the merits of this solid film would be properly appreciated.
The basic premise is a black photographer named Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) who goes with his white girlfriend (Allison Williams) to meet her parents. Things go from awkward to creepy to downright disturbing as Chris uncovers a conspiracy targeted at him.
Imagine The Wicker Man meets Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. Such a task would probably result in laughter, which exactly what Director Jordan Peele intended.
And yes, this is the same Peele from Key & Peele in his directorial debut. But as everyone saw with Robin Williams, comedians are quite capable of doing more serious and perhaps even terrifying work.
The first half of the movie is primarily cringe-worthy and chuckle inducing. Chris puts on a good face when he meets his girlfriends parents, even though the dad (Bradley Whitford) keeps bringing up how he voted for Obama and keeps calling Chris “my man.”
Additional guests also arrive, including seemingly brainwashed black people and white elites who admire Chris like an exotic object. But it is only during the second half of the movie that the full extent of their depravity is revealed.
Jason Blum of Blumhouse Productions produced, meaning this film probably cost less to make than a Ford Chevy. That doesn’t mean the budget constrains Peele when it comes to the disturbing visuals, such as when Chris sinks into an endless void after being hypnotized.
Peele alone shouldn’t get all the credit. Every actor pulls it off, especially Kaluuya who seems to be able to cry on cue and not have it look like crocodile tears.
One main source of comedy is Chris’s best friend (Milton “Lil Rel” Howery). He manages to be funny by having all the same reactions the audience does to this bizarre situation, though his shtick might have been overbearing towards the third act.
Get Out isn’t so much about prejudice based on hate but prejudice based on envy. White liberals, the primary target of this movie, are seen dehumanizing Chris because they see being black as something that is trendy and a social asset.
But in the end, prejudice is still prejudice.