Get Out review – fantastically twisted horror-satire on race in America

Jordan Peele’s superbly nasty comedy about a black man who meets his white girlfriend’s parents is as pitiless as a surgeon’s scalpel

This fantastically twisted and addictively entertaining horror-satire on the subject of race plays like an Ira Levin rewrite of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. I can imagine Drew Goddard or Sam Fuller wanting to direct it. In fact, it is written and directed by Jordan Peele, whose recent movie Keanu, which he co-wrote and co-starred with his longtime comedy partner Keegan-Michael Key struck me as a bit lame. And to my embarrassment I knew nothing of their much admired TV work. Well, this is a hypnotically nasty gem.

British actor Daniel Kaluuya is Chris, the black boyfriend of Rose, a beautiful young white woman played by Allison Williams (from Lena Dunham’s series Girls). They’ve dating for a few months and she plans to take Chris back to her family home to meet her hugely wealthy and excruciatingly liberal parents Dean and Missy (wonderfully played by Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener), a surgeon and psychotherapist, respectively. Rose predicts that her embarrassingly well-meaning dad will assure Chris that he would have voted for Obama a third time if that was possible.

Get Out: trailer for Jordan Peele’s comedy horror

But when Chris arrives at their colossal home, he is deeply disconcerted to find that Rose’s family, though impeccably progressive, are surrounded by black staff, who lock eyes with the family’s honoured guest with glacial correctness. (Watching the movie, I found myself thinking of Michael Gove’s legendary, gushing description of arriving for his interview with Donald Trump last year: he was whisked up to the president-elect’s office in a lift plated with reflective golden panels and operated by an immensely dignified African-American attendant kitted out in frock coat and white gloves.”)

It so happens that the young couple’s visit coincides with a big family get together, and the hospitality becomes more and more unsettling. Get Out is very creepy, very funny and as pitiless as a surgeon’s scalpel.

Contributor

Peter Bradshaw

The GuardianTramp

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