Get Out (2017)

Viewed February 26th

When a young black photographer accompanying his white girlfriend on a weekend family trip learns that there's much more going on with her family than meets the eye he has to do everything he can to GET OUT.  

This film brilliantly updates the scenario of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? (1967). Instead of having the white, self-proclaimed liberal parents come around to accepting the black man their daughter is dating, the parents in Get Out go in the total opposite direction, amplifying every paranoid delusion the black boyfriend's ever had about whites. It's a mainstream American horror film where the monster is whiteness--an idea that is destined to be the subject of countless film studies papers in the future. What's intriguing about the way Get Out treats race is that it ends up extending far beyond making fun of white people by folding the idea of racism into a more interesting sci-fi plot concept. These Obama-era whites admire blacks in certain ways that their parents never did--they imagine they hold certain social advantages that they're jealous of; it's almost like they want to be black without having to BE black. The white family's monstrous solution for working through this desire creates fodder for expertly-handled genre effects and a very sharp social commentary. While horror fans will enjoy the way director Jordan Peele plays with genre tropes, Get Out also clearly signals a new auteurist sensibility. The approach to the acting, in particular, felt like something I hadn't seen before. Everyone is authentic-feeling, but with enough of an off-putting strangeness that you know something else is going on here. Finally, Get Out sets itself up as a world well. If a sequel is released, there are plenty of intriguing minor characters and small details to the white conspiracy that I'd be excited to learn more about.