“Blaxploitation” films were the cornerstone of “B-Movie” cinema in the late 60’s and early 70’s. Movies like “Super Fly”, “Shaft”, and “Foxy Brown” defined the genre with memorable black lead characters that had a swagger and a certain gritty, street-wise attitude. These movies weren’t winning any Oscars during award seasons, but these films were telling stories that weren’t being told in mainstream cinema that I still love to this day. Now in 2017, a new film, directed by one half of the comedy duo “Key & Peele”, Jordan Peele, has hit the scene and has resurrected some of the “Blaxploitation” themes and spins a yarn that everyone should sit up and pay attention to.
“Get Out” is the new suspense, horror thriller from director Jordan Peele. “Get Out” tells the story of Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) and his new girlfriend, Rose Armitage (Allison Williams) who are going on a trip to meet Rose’s parents for the first time and introduce Chris as Rose’s first black boyfriend. As soon as they arrive at the Armitage estate, Chris is greeted by Rose’s well-to-do parents, Missy Armitage (Catherine Keener) and Dean Armitage (Bradley Whitford). As Chris begins his stay he notices odd behavior from the Armitage’s and their “help” that leads him further down a twisted path that makes him question who Rose’s parents are and what dark secrets this close knit neighborhood is hiding about its few black residents.
“Get Out” is a throwback to the “blaxploitation” era of films. It also has a heaping helping of thrilling suspense in the vain of the 1975 film, “The Stepford Wives”. This film also takes a shot at race relations in this country in last few years. Interestingly enough, the shots taken here were at the “Liberal Elite” who go above and beyond to show that they are not racist to the point of being awkward and making people of color feel the same. “Get Out” has moments that some may find uncomfortable and have your stomach in your throat, but that only adds to the slow burn tension that builds to the films shocking conclusion. The performance of Daniel Kaluuya truly stands out and it emits such a palpable feeling of paranoia that you can’t but relate to his increased distress for his personal safety. Bradley Whitford, Katherine Keener, and Allison Williams as the Armitage family are fantastic as the all too perfect nuclear family that is hiding something just under the surface. What makes this film such a terrifying and enjoyable pulp flick is that director Jordan Peele knows when it’s appropriate to inject humor. Not all the jokes land clean, but overall the humor worked in the films favor. The humor also accentuates the horror of the finale. “Get Out” is nowhere near a gory, violent film, but what is here is effective and ferocious.
“Get Out” is a film that has a clear satrical story to tell without beating the audience over the head with it (pun completely intended). The only agenda being made with this film is to leave you in a quandary about the proceedings and to keep you on the edge of your seat. Jordan Peele has made an impressive directorial and screenwriting debut with “Get Out”. You must make your way into the theatre and be sure to “Get Out” while you can.