Get Out (NC16)
Starring Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener Directed by Jordan Peele
Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), an African-American photographer, is invited by his white girlfriend to meet her parents over a weekend at their upstate family estate. Dad (Bradley Whitford) is a neurosurgeon; Mum (Catherine Keener) is a hypnotherapist.
They seem nice enough, and yet, something is… off… from the lobotomised behaviour of the groundskeeper (Marcus Henderson) and the maid (Betty Gabriel), both black, to the parents’ cult of rich elderly cronies who descend from a garden party and inspect him with unholy interest.
The conspiracy that Get Out reveals is freakishly evil.
This white-knuckled horror is like Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967) re-scripted by the American author Ira Levin of Rosemary’s Baby and The Stepford Wives.
The writer-director is actually Jordan Peele. The debut filmmaker, being one-half of the award-winning Comedy Central television sketch show Key & Peele, has skillfully bled dark laughs into the terror.
Chris’ unease and awkwardness among the privileged whites, initially almost a comedy of manners, is a spiked satire on race relations in contemporary America, and the menacing mood isn’t mere paranoia: Chris soon finds himself fighting for survival in a daring commentary on slavery, assimilation and the hypocrisy of the liberal elite.
“Get out!” urges his homie (a hilarious LilRel Howery) during his increasingly frantic phone calls.
But where can Chris run when the insidious racism is all around? (* * * *) Photo: UIP