GET OUT: It’s no secret that most white people have a genuine paranoia when they find themselves alone in black dominated areas or neighborhoods. But that scenario gets turned on its head in the opening scene of this movie directed and written by Jordan Peele (KEANU) from Comedy Central’s “KEY & PEELE” which deftly combines horror and suspense with biting social satire that’s positively Swiftian. The plot itself is a modern riff on GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER? (1967) where a young white woman (Allison Williams) takes her black photographer boyfriend (Daniel Kaluuya) to meet her affluent parents in suburban Connecticut (See CLOSING CREDITS.). Dad (Bradley Whitford) is a neurosurgeon while mom (Catherine Keener) is a psychiatrist who specializes in hypnotic therapy. But the visit turns into a sort of “twilight zone” where the parents and their white friends appear to be way too accommodating along with some creepy domestics (Betty Gabriel, Marcus Henderson) who come off like black versions of THE STEPFORD WIVES (1975). To say anything more would ruin the film for those who’ve yet to see it. But I can point out that if this movie is taken literally, which many white people will do, that its darkly humorous parody will be lost. After all, many of the usual conventions of the horror genre are present like the ominous, foreboding musical score and the sudden scares that jump out from behind a curtain/door to yell “boo”. But beneath the frightful moments is the often underlying truth that racism isn’t the exclusive province of conservative white bigots who want to make America great again but also with liberals who try a little too hard to convince others that “I would have voted for Obama a third time if I could have”. On the other hand, young men of color are likely to resonate with that notion since many of them might already believe that their lives are in constant danger on a daily basis as it is. CRITIC’S GRADE: B
CLOSING CREDITS: I’m one of those “credidiots” who believes that a movie isn’t really over until I’ve sat through all of the post-film credits and acknowledgements. Occasionally, I come across some eyebrow-raising “nuggets” of information that catches my attention as was the case with GET OUT. As I mentioned in this review, the setting of the movie is suburban Connecticut which is something of a haven for “white flighters” wanting to distance themselves from urban black ghettos. But the reality is that this film was shot entirely in Alabama which has a notorious history of lynchings and violence during the Civil Rights era against black people. Was this an ironic device on the part of filmmaker Peele or just a coincidence? In light of the work’s theme and tone, I’m leaning toward the former.