The wildly successful movie Get Out written and directed by Jordan Peele is coming to HBO this Saturday, November 4th, 2017. If by chance you haven’t seen it, you’ve probably heard the buzz surrounding the movie. During its initial release, it received rave reviews and buzz for having a 99% on Rotten Tomatoes. While the trailer hints at a thriller/horror/comedy, most people, including myself, were able to find an appreciation for the brilliant writing on social topics. Peele tackles hypnosis, interracial dating, privilege, prejudice, race and a host of other topics.
What you can expect is a plot that weaves effortlessly between socially driven conversations, comedy, suspense and a storyline that comes together in ways that will force you to address some of your own inner thoughts on the topics Peele approaches. I’ll admit, when I first saw the movie, I observed the audience. While I barely paid attention to the trailer, I knew the plot featured a black man and his experience with a white woman and her family. I can remember walking out of a theater with people of various races and backgrounds finding an appreciation for the content of the plot that played before us.
Chris, played by Daniel Kaluuya dates Rose (Allison Williams from HBO’s Girls) in what starts off as a seemingly healthy interracial relationship. He’s able to casually bring up the fact that he’s black and it’s importance to her family, all the while we find ourselves rooting for Rose as she puts up a fight against an officer who asks for his ID after they hit a deer en route to her home. She appeals to Chris’ and the tension surrounding black men and the police. Williams plays her character so well that it catches you by surprise when you realize she’s just as involved, dedicated and committed as her other family members. Lil Rel Howery (guest start on HBO’s Insecure) plays Rod, Chris’ best friend who provides hilarious insight and takes things to the most unforeseen places, only to be right (kinda–sex slaves was in the ballpark).
Peele places little nuggets throughout to keep you on your toes. In the beginning, we see the kidnapping of a black man in a suburban area. It comes full circle when he appears again, nothing like himself, dazed and under a spell of some sort. Peele also excels at building towards the climax. He plays on Chris being black, what it means and what it looks like to other people (consciously or unconsciously). Whether it’s the dad’s constant slang that Rose says he never uses, or the party guests admiration for his physique. We learn about the fashion statement known as his skin tone all the way to questioning his intellect and ability to capture a picture and its meaning. At every corner, there is someone, somewhere, forcing Chris to speak for what it means to be black.
In the end, we find Chris, tied down to a chair, putting all the pieces of the puzzle together as he fights for his life. And, hopefully, by this point, you are putting it all together too. The best part of this movie isn’t what I think it means, but the ability for this movie to take on so many different meanings to each person who sees it. Get Out was a pleasant surprise for me. At some point, you’ve kind of “seen it all before” when it comes to horror movies, but this one did something different. It played on the horrors of social construct at a time when political tension was heightened and race relations continued to lead news headlines. Peele played on many of our own prejudices, experiences and ideas about race. I can’t wait to see what else Peele and his production team has in store for us next!
You can catch Get Out at 8pm on HBO on November 4 and throughout the month or on HBONow/Go.