This new horror film follows a black man (Daniel Kaluuya) visiting his white girlfriend’s (Allison Williams) parents. “When there’s too many white people I get nervous,” he remarks. And with very good reason.
Get Out is boldly written and directed by Jordan Peele, who peels back the curtain on American society and reveals violent, insidious racism. Horror cinema has touched upon racial themes ever since the seminal Night of the Living Dead in 1968, but this social stream has since dried up in mainstream Hollywood. Slasher flicks in particular stand out as, in the immortal words of Scream 2, “dumb ass white movies about some dumb ass white girls getting their white asses cut the fuck up.” Get Out slices through the genre’s cultural inertia with politically pertinent ideas, an appropriately oppressive atmosphere and a devilish sense of fun.
Peele knowingly combines the conspiracy vibe of Rosemary’s Baby with the confrontational quality of The People Under the Stairs, Wes Craven’s brilliant Reagan-era cannibal-parable about the African-American experience. My only quibble, other than the name (you might as well call a horror film Ooh, Scary), is that Peele could play it closer to his chest at first. But this hardly matters in a film so sharp, scary and interesting, full of strong performances from the likes of Kaluuya, Bradley Whitford and a dog. If you share the notion that horror cinema ought to be subversive, then get into Get Out. It’s so good I might have to start spelling Blumhouse with an L.