Arts & Leisure

“Get Out” re-invents the horror flick

DANIEL KALUUYA and Allison Williams stars in "Get Out," a horror flick with social commentary.

DANIEL KALUUYA and Allison Williams stars in “Get Out,” a horror flick with social commentary.

By Jim Tortolano

If you’re one of those people who wonders why the nincompoops in a dumb horror film always insist on going into perilous situations armed only with a candle and sense of dopey curiosity, you probably whispered (or shouted) “Get Out!”

LogoforMovieReviewWell, that’s the title of what may be the smartest horror film ever made. Comic Jordan Peele wrote and directed this instant classic, which combines social commentary, fright, humor and some of the best camera work you’ve seen in a long time.

Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) is a black man traveling with this white girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams) to make a first visit to her wealthy parents’ home. She assures him of her folks’ liberal bona fides. “He’d have voted for Obama a third time if he could have,” she says of her father.

But from the beginning, things at the isolated Armitage manse are a little … off. The family is politely accepting, but in a creepy stereotyping way. They admire his muscles, suggest some kind of sexual superiority and awkwardly use terms like “my man” as if they were on a first-name basis with Denzel Washington.

Even more unnerving is the behavior of the family’s black servants, who seem to be a bit lobotomized. What’s going on? Who are the good guys here? Are they any?

The sense of menace is heightened by time-honored usages such as sudden loud noises and musical crashes. But the really unsettling foreshadowing comes from the use of the camera, which views some scenes from doorways and windows, suggesting a hidden watcher with bad intent.

greatmovielogoI don’t want to give too much away here, but if you can guess the twists and turns in this, movie, you’re in line for a job as the next Sherlock Holmes. The tension is broken – thankfully – from time to time by Chris’ best friend Walter (Marcus Henderson), a TSA agent who provides most the of the humor and ultimately … well … let me say no more.

The entire cast is spot-on, from creepy dad Dean (Bradley Whitford) and creepy mom Missy (Catherine Keener) all the way to Allison, who has what turns out to be quite the unusual hobby.

This $5 million film has already brought in over $35 million and Peele will be the next hottest item in filmmaking. It’s so well done that the idea of making a low budget film with some intelligence that rakes in big box office may be a scary proposition for Hollywood bigwigs who seem to only be able to make dumb sequels and superhero flicks.

“Get Out” is rated R for profanity, violence and some sensuality.

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