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Friday, December 1, 2017

Science Fiction

Science Fiction


Now streaming–Get Out, the surprise hit film earns critical acclaim for director

Posted: 30 Nov 2017 05:00 AM PST

Review by C.J. Bunce

The best way to watch Get Out is to know nothing about the film’s conflict.  It’s enough to know that it follows an African-American man named Chris (played by Daniel Kaluuya) whose Anglo girlfriend of five months named Rosie (played by Allison Williams) takes him home to a secluded, forested town to experience the time-honored ritual of “meeting the parents.”  Chris’s best pal back home, Rodney (played by LilRel Howery), who works for the TSA and is watching his dog and his apartment, warns him not to go just like any friend who is looking out for his buddy.  What follows is your typical, awkward first meeting of the parents, which corresponds with an annual town party where Chris gets to meet all the locals.

But is this really a typical encounter?

One by one, elements of the town don’t seem quite right.  Is Chris just being paranoid?  As with Midnight Special, we’ll hold back on the rest of the details, even the true genre, although you can expect something of the dark drama or horror-thriller realm from the title and posters alone.  This one is excellently creepy.

Peele dances with issues of race and culture peppered throughout the story in a very real, imaginative, and thought-provoking way.  Fans of the more unusual horror films of 1970s will love this film–you might think you’re seeing bits and pieces of movies evoking anything from The Stepford Wives to Skeleton Key to Wicker Man to The Watcher in the Woods to Coma and Fallen.  Or you might see it as all-out horror, but without all the typical genre gore and violence.  Ultimately director Peele will give you only what you need to know, when you need to know it.  Best of all, Peele has that skill that so many filmmakers mess up:  He knows how to end a story with a satisfying conclusion.

Daniel Kaluuya, who co-starred in Denis Villeneuve’s Sicario, Doctor Who, and Kick-Ass 2, is perfect as the story’s reluctant protagonist. Jordan Peele of the Key and Peele comedy duo steps into his first director gig and crafts a picture like it was his 25th.  His eye, his use of camera angles, and his building of tension shows a mastery of the film medium.  His simmering reveal of each new plot progression is smartly choreographed, and at the end filmgoers will be left eagerly looking forward to his next movie project.

Listen for new movie composer Michael Abels’ great musical score.  It helps set the stage for this great thriller.  The film co-stars Catherine Keener (Into the Wild), Bradley Whitford (The West Wing, The X-Files), Marcus Henderson (Whiplash, Django Unchained), and Betty Gabriel (Westworld).

This week Get Out picked up some critical acclaim from the independent film Gotham Awards.   Peele was awarded the Breakthrough Director Award and award for Best Screenplay, and the film won the Audience Award.  It also won the Nation Review Board Awards’ Best Ensemble honors as well as kudos to Peele for directorial achievement.  Will it get recognized by Oscar next year?  Peele certainly should be a prime contender at least for his screenplay.

Get Out is streaming now on Vudu, Amazon Prime, and HBO, and available on DVD here, Blu-ray here, and 4K here at Amazon.