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Get Out
 
Year : 2017
Country : United-States


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DokBrowne  [ 8.5 ]    [ add to preferred ]    [ email this review to a friend ]

An eerie, almost Shyamalan-esque world-is-askew mystery thriller atop a nightmarish fish-out-of-water horror story atop an open contemplation of boiling racial politics, Jordan Peele's directorial debut (and hard genre u-turn, though the thematic aims haven't changed a bit) juices these categorizations with such fresh aplomb that it's easy to dismiss the aftertaste of narrative simplicity. Not to ruin anything, but the movie might work even better for anyone lucky enough to have never seen its rather verbose trailers. Its potency lies more in confident filmmaking style (there are handfuls of striking imagery throughout, the cinematography and blocking are highly effective, and I like the placement of a frightening game of bingo in the story before we understand what's going on during it, even though in hindsight it explains a lot) and allegorical utility of the horror film template to distill the universal cues of any African American man's experience with prejudice (fears of judgment and of conspiracy to harm, the acute discomfort of playing along with other people's ignorance, the need to commiserate with others of your kind), rather than in screenwriting technique, which is sturdy but by the end, uninspired. Also, I expected an added layer to the madness that occurs, and am somehow both relieved and disappointed that there wasn't one. On the one hand, hallelujah for a horror movie that is fine being exactly what it says it is, no extraneous, maddening tricks attached. On the other hand, is that all there is to the story once it's over? This terseness of plot has been pulled off a bit more satisfyingly in other recent horror hybrids like "Green Room" and "Don't Breathe".

Yet the movie is still a success, and doesn't need a 2nd twist or extended fake-out finale or whatever to accomplish its goal of creeping you the hell out in grand form. We tiptoe through the movie fraught with suspense over the suggestions of sinister happenings and why the color of our protagonist's skin seems to have so much to do with that, and it's thanks to both Peele's studious direction (marred, arguably, only by one stinger of a cheap jump scare music cue early on), and the fantastic performance of Daniel Kaluuya, who was already a unique presence in "Sicario" and that one episode of "Black Mirror", but is now unequivocally a Must Watch actor. His reactive nature in this, always assessing each odd moment with a different kind of delayed response, while suppressing what is clearly a constant reflex to say "what the FUCK?", shows more magnetism and range than a lot of actors ever do playing characters meant to be larger than life instigators. Alongside Allison Williams as the very smiley girlfriend, the ever-underused Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener as her seemingly jovial parents whose cracks in their behavioral armor (like her hostile scolding of Kaluuya's smoking habit, and his occasionally inappropriate gestures about Kaluuya's race) could be interpreted either as face value character flaws exaggerated by paranoia or something much more ominous, and the supremely unsettling presence of Betty Gabriel as the housemaid who appears to be not of this world, it's clearly a film that rightly banks on the power of its actors to heighten the mood. Oh and let's not forget the well-timed comic relief courtesy of Lil Rel Howery. Being made by one half of "Key & Peele" doesn't make this any kind of comedy whatsoever, but the occasional cuts to Howery as the helpful friend back home are much welcomed breaks from the coiling crisis.

 
Weighted Rating : 7.0
No. Ratings : 1
No. Reviews : 1


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2017 5
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