director Jordan Peele
viewed: 03/19/2017 at AMC Metreon 16, SF, CA
Jordan Peele’s directorial debut, Get Out, is a horror comedy parable about being black in a particularly white part of America. And I say parable because it’s not depicting gritty reality and when it finally moves from creepy to out-and-out outlandish, it holds together tightly.
Daniel Kaluuya plays Chris, a young photographer dating a pretty white girl, Rose (Allison Williams), making their first visit to meet Rose’s family, Bradley Whitford (dad), Catherine Keener (mom), and Caleb Landry Jones (bro). Prepared to an extent for the fish out of water feeling of being a black guy in an isolated, posh very white place, Chris has no idea what he’s really gotten himself into.
The film is extremely well-tuned, and for the most part, plays out an eeriness of disquiet, of friendly facades and tacit casual racism. Only this weirdness hides a more far out reality that also has metaphorical form. Peele’s commentary on racism and blackness and whiteness in America is timely, interesting, and hardly glib.
Most of the comedy comes in the form of Chris’s friend Rob, played by Lil Rey Howery, a TSA agent, whose role is small, which is good because he could easily have stolen the show with more screentime. His character offers some counterbalance to the horrors in which Chris has found himself immersed.
A very strong debut. An original and worthwhile horror film. My kids also both enjoyed it.