DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

GET OUT(director/writer: Jordan Peele; cinematographer: Toby Oliver; editor: Gregory Plotkin; music: Michael Abels; cast:  Daniel Kaluuya (Chris Washington), Catherine Keener (Missy Armitage), Allison Williams (Rose Armitage), Bradley Whitford (Dean Armitage), Caleb Landry Jones (Jeremy Armitage), Marcus Henderson (Walter), Lil Rel Howery (Rod Williams), Erika Alexander (Detective Latoya), Lakeith Stanfield (Andrew Logan King, Stephen Root (Jim Hudson), John Wilmot (Gordon Greene); Runtime: 103; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Jason Blum, Edward H. Hamm Jr., Sean McKittrick; Universal; 2017)

"It provides a few shocks and a few laughs, as it leave us something sinister to think about in our race relations while having a laugh at the expense of the liberal elites."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

An unsettling race-based socially relevant horror genre thriller by the mixed-race writer-director Jordan Peele, in his directorial debut. It provides a few shocks and a few laughs, as it leave us something sinister to think about in our race relations while having a laugh at the expense of the liberal elites. Peele's a stand-up comedian and is on TV's Comedy Central's race-confronting show partnering with Key.

Chris Washington (
Daniel Kaluuya) is a 26-year-old black orphan, an aspiring photographer who for the last few months has been dating a pretty white girl named Rose Armitage (Allison Williams). She invites him for a weekend to visit her wealthy liberal parents in their exclusive colonial estate in the affluent white suburbs without mentioning to them her boyfriend is black. Her Obama-loving dad Dean (Bradley Whitford) is a neurosurgeon, her supportive mom Missy (Catherine Keener) is a psychiatrist specializing in hypnotherapist and her lacrosse playing brother Jeremy (Caleb Landry Jones) is a creepy but friendly overly aggressive wastrel. The two servants are stereotyped blacks: the strong handyman, Walter (Marcus Henderson), and the docile housekeeper, Georgina (Betty Gabriel), who both look and act as if they're zombie holdovers from the days of slavery on southern plantations.

Things get weirder for Chris when M
issy, without his approval, hypnotizes him to stop smoking and it results in him seeing bad things from his past.

The visitor is further flustered that a bunch of privileged white guests arrive for their annual party with the Armitages. They make him feel uncomfortable, even when telling him how much they adore blacks. Though all parties are quick to point out that they are not bigots and are eager to meet him, Chris nevertheless feels like leaving because he's so out of place around all the whites. Even the one black guest (
Lakeith Stanfield) creeps him out, who is with a white woman 30 years older and talks as if in a stupor while dressed as a white hillbilly.

Comedy relief kicks in with Chris's fast-talking best friend Rod (Lil Rel Howery), a TSA airport cop he is regularly on the cell phone with, who has warned him “Don’t go to a white girl’s parents’ house.” When things go eerily dark on the Armitage estate, it's the suspicious Rod who tells him to "Get Out" and is concerned when he hasn't.

The cast is top-grade and give edgy performances to match the smart political asides and the John Carpenter-like scares. Though it might only seem to touch on skin deep racial issues, it is nuanced and provocative, while it still provides enough gore to also satisfy the requisites of a modern slasher film.

EVIEWED ON 2/25/2017       GRADE: B

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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