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When Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), a young African-American man, visits his white girlfriend's (Allison Williams) family estate, he becomes ensnared in the more sinister, real reason for the invitation. At first, Chris reads the family's overly accommodating behavior as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter's interracial relationship, but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a truth that he could have never imagined. This speculative thriller from Blumhouse (producers of The Visit, Insidious series and The Gift) and the mind of Jordan Peele (Key & Peele) is equal parts gripping thriller and provocative commentary.
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The film begins with a black man, Andre Hayworth (LaKeith Stanfield) walking through a suburb late at night apparently somewhat lost. He notices a car slowing down as if looking him over, which makes him uneasy, being a black man in what seems to be an upper middle-class white neighborhood. Not wanting any trouble, he changes direction and starts walking the other direction, only to be suddenly assaulted by a lone figure who knocks him unconscious, stuffs him into the car and then drives off.
Things jump ahead to some months later where we meet black photographer Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya ) and his white girlfriend Rose Armitage (Allison Williams) getting packed to take a trip to meet Rose's parents - neurosurgeon father Dean Armitage (Bradley Whitford) and psychiatrist/hypnotherapist mother Missy (Catherine Keener) - and her brother Jeremy (Caleb Landry Jones). Although Chris was uncertain about the visit in the beginning - black man meeting his white girlfriend's affluent parents after all - Dean and Missy seem unruffled and affable and do their best to make him feel welcome. Jeremy seems a bit weird, but Chris shrugs it off. He isn't as able to shrug off the Armitages' black groundskeeper and housekeeper, Walter (Marcus Henderson) and Georgina (Betty Gabriel). There's something definitely off about them, but nothing Chris can precisely put a finger to. But as the weekend progresses, things continue to get weird and weirder still as Chris is introduced to the Armitages' friends who show up for some gathering that Rose apparently forgot was that weekend. Only gradually does Chris become aware of what he's been led into. But by then, it's too late, and he finds himself in full nightmare territory when things finally become clear.
The film moves a bit slowly in the beginning, but for the most part Poole knows how to pace things so that the tension rises ever so gradually, just enough to make Chris uneasy but not enough to make him flee the house. Poole achieves a rising level of creepiness manifesting in tiny details - the way Walter and Georgina look and talk, the way Dean and Missy keep glancing at him as if assessing him somehow, the even stranger way the guests actually poke and prod at him while asking odd-sounding questions, and Jeremy's constant and escalating micro-aggressive behavior.
More than that I don't want to say. Let it suffice that the reveal, when it comes, pays off on everything that led up to it.
On a side note, as I mentioned earlier, the slow-rising tension in Get Out is leavened here and there by some nicely handled comic relief in the form of LilRel Howery's Rod Henderson, Chris's best friend who works for the TSA. With some of the best lines in the film, Howery steals every scene he's in, but Peele uses him quite adeptly, letting him lighten the tone for a moment but without disrupting the pacing of the film. Peele also wisely doesn't make the mistake a lot of other writer/directors make of spreading the comedy around. All of the other characters in Get Out are played straight and so you can genuinely feel Chris's growing sense of unease and eventually terror. This is a serious horror film with moments of comedy, not a spoof or a parody. But it does have its comedic moments, and all of them are in Howery's highly capable hands.
Highly recommended for anyone who likes their horror claustrophobic and creepy and leavened ever so slightly with occasional comic relief.
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reinforces many stereotypical ideas