By Bonnie DeShong, Chicago Crusader
Horror films that give me pause are not the ones with monsters, or girls that crawl out of wells. I am unsettled by films that seem far-fetched but are close enough to being normal that it actually could become a reality.
The first scene of GET OUT, which I am not going to disclose to you, sets the mood for the film. Writer and Director, Jordan Peele does an excellent job in making the audience feel uncomfortable and involved in the scene.
Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), a promising photographer and avid smoker (that point is important), has been dating his girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams) for five months. The film takes place on the weekend Rose is taking him home to meet her parents. Chris is a little nervous because Rose has not informed her parents that he is Black. She insists that her parents are white liberals and would have voted for Barack Obama to a third term and are definitely not racists. That was my first clue that things weren’t going to be good for Chris.
On the way up to the estate things begin to happen that just don’t feel right. Once they reach the house Rose’s father Dean (Bradley Whitford), who is a neurosurgeon and her mom Missy (Catherine Keener) a psychiatrist and hypnotherapist, go a little overboard in letting him know they are quite all right that he is Black and dating their daughter. Look for the Jesse Owens reference, it is a true hint of what is going on.
Chris is cool until he meets the two Black servants, Walter (Marcus Henderson) the groundskeeper and Georgina (Betty Gabriel) the housekeeper. When Chris tries to communicate with them they seem a little “out of it.” That was the first time the words “get out” went through my mind, but I am not one to talk back to the screen so I kept the thought to myself.
The film is a true horror film that is more unnerving than scary. The crazy plot, in some strange way, could really happen.
The family has planned an “All White” garden party where everyone invited, when meeting Chris looks at him as if he is a fine piece of barbeque covered in sauce they want to lick off the bone. All of them have a keen interest in all aspects of being Black. After an encounter with the only other Black person invited to the party, Chris figures out what is really going on, but it may be too late.
I am so thankful that Lil Rel Howery is in the film playing Chris’ best friend Rod, a very funny TSA agent. The film is so uneasy that the severe comic relief is needed to break the tension of what is happening on the estate.
GET OUT makes Blair Witch Project read like a Disney film. It brings to light a different type of racism and entitlement, one that in a few years could actually happen. As I left the theater I wondered if the white people in the audience realized that the white characters in the film were admitting to being inferior to the Black race. I know I will look at the game of Bingo differently from now on.
SPEND THE MONEY and see GET OUT in the theaters.
Until next time keep your EYE to the sky!