Get Out

Catherine Keener’s menacing use of a teacup and spoon will make you want to keep both in cupboards at home.

get-outWith Get Out, Jordan Peele has made his directorial debut in a nasty little movie that combines horror and racism. Known as one-half of the comedy team Key and Peele, he clearly appears comfortable in the director’s chair.

The movie tells the story of Chris, a young black man (Daniel Kaluuya) who accepts his white girlfriend’s (Allison Williams) invitation to visit her wealthy parents living on an isolated country estate. He regrettably swallows his concerns when she tells him that her parents do not know that she is dating a black man. Right then and there you know trouble is waiting around the corner.

Her parents, played with chilling detachment by Bradley Whitford and the great Catherine Keener, seem quite outgoing at first. Dad tells Chris that he would have voted for Obama if he had been allowed to run for a third term, while mom offers to hypnotize him to help him quit smoking.

Things start to get dark quite quickly. Employed by the parents are two extraordinarily odd-acting black servants (played in chilling fashion by Betty Gabrief and Marcus Henderson), and their actions are borderline freakish. Though I don’t dare give anything away, it becomes increasingly clear that black visitors to this stately mansion face a transformation with ghastly consequences.

Last year Key and Peele appeared in the raucous dark comedy Keanu, where they had to impersonate gangland killers as they tried to get back a stolen cat. The humor of the film flowed from the fact that both were completely clueless on how to function on the streets. It was as if they were two white guys from a Southern Indiana town performing in a remake of Straight Outta Compton.

Though this film morphs into a great horror movie, Peele doesn’t forget the need to add a few comic touches. Here, LilRel Howery plays Rob, an hysterical TSA agent who questions his friend’s sanity and judgment. You frequently laugh out loud while descending into a state of fear.

Whether you like horror movies or not, this movie delivers a racist theme that can’t be overlooked. It’s as if a segment of our white society considers the goal of diversity to be found in surgically helping black Americans act white. Interested?