Friday, March 3, 2017

Meet the Parents

Jordan Peele, MAD TV alum and one half of the comedic duo from Comedy Central’s ‘Key & Peele,’ is also one heck of a screenwriter, producer and director.  His debut feature (as writer/producer/director), the low budget horror flick ‘Get Out,’ had garnered universal acclaim (an unbelievable 99% "fresh" rating on RT, so take that 'Moonlight' and 'La La Land'!) and generated a lot of buzz since its release last weekend, not to mention exceeding expectations and earning the number one spot with $33 million at the box office.  Being the jaded horror aficionado that I am and having been disappointed more often than not by recent efforts in the genre, I just had to see for myself if ‘Get Out’ truly lives up to its high billing.
The story is simplicity itself.  Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) is a young African-American whose relationship with his white girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams) has reached a steadiness that warranted finally meeting her family, the outwardly nice Fockers.... I mean Armitages.  Concerned that Rose hadn’t yet told them she's dating a black man, his reservations were soon put to rest after the warm reception from the loving family.  But things are not as they initially appear of course.  Strange behavior from the family and the two black servants as well as other guests gradually led Chris to believe that things are very, very wrong and that he is slowly sinking into a living nightmare from which he must "get out."  Just what in tarnation is going on here???!!!
With no expectations of what the movie’s about but high expectations from all the hype surrounding it, I must admit I was pleasantly surprised by what turned out to be an intelligent, funny and genuinely scary movie which also serves as social satire.  I am not exaggerating here in saying that ‘Get Out’ is a masterwork of steadily building suspense and creeping paranoia the likes of which we haven’t seen in quite awhile.  Thanks to this movie, you will never hear the simple sound of a silver spoon stirring in a China teacup quite the same way again.  And like all great horror movies, it has a doozie of a twist near the end that hits us like a pile of bricks.  There are shades of ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’ (the 1956 original and the 1978 remake), ‘The Stepford Wives’ (the original, not the remake) and 'Rosemary's Baby.'  That, my friends, is high praise indeed.

Grade: A+

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