For Reel

Get Out (2017)
April 23, 2017, 3:19 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Jordan Peele
4.5 Stars
Get OutThe success of Get Out is not that it simultaneously balances the contradictory genres that are the social farce and the horror film, but rather that it develops a horror film organically from the social farce. When Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) meets his girlfriend’s (Allison Williams) parents for the first time, he is patient with them while recognizing their discomfort. As upper class liberals, they (Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener) seek to prove that they are post-racial because they insist that they would have voted Obama for a third term. Similarly, when more family arrives, Chris is told about one man’s experiences with Tiger Woods and later is teased about the size of his genitals. As open as he is in discussing the awkward interactions with his girlfriend, Chris hangs in there until the passive prejudices get to be too much. Before long, the forced manners become the thing of suspicion and horror. Director Jordon Peele isn’t cleverly linking genres—he is arguing that, in this context, they are one in the same. That both the horror elements and the social comedy elements create the same discomfort in the viewer is a convincing argument (a black man walking through a presumably all-white neighborhood similarly works as both a comedic subversion of expectations and as a horror setpiece). Beyond Peele’s clever method of turning social discomfort into the thing of suspicion and dread, the fact that his horror has much to do with methods of mind control complicates further—in addition to the horror of “otherness” in Get Out is the horror of losing control of one’s identity, provoking the idea that control can be exerted beyond merely physical means.

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