2017 Certificate: 15

Synopsis

Think Guess Who's Coming To Dinner in Stepford as rich white girl Rose (Allison Williams) takes her black boyfriend Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) to meet her parents (Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener) for the first time. Thankfully, they couldn't do more to put him at ease... at first. But as the weekend progresses, Chris gets the feeling that there's something horribly sinister behind the welcome. Race, hypnotism and murder: the surprises keep coming in this unsettling mystery thriller... not least that it comes from writer-director Jordan Peele, half of cult comedy double-act Key & Peele.

Director

  • Jordan Peele

Cast

  • Daniel Kaluuya

  • Allison Williams

  • Bradley Whitford

  • Catherine Keener

  • Caleb Landry Jones

  • LilRel Howery

Review

From the gory critique of a consumerist world gone mad in Dawn of the Dead to The Mist's insidious portrayal of a fragmented post 9/11 America, horror films have always provided a potent platform for social comment.

But they've never done it this well.

First-time director Jordan Peele - one half of legendary American comedy duo Key and Peele - has crafted a fully formed social parody that sublimely functions as both a race-savvy satire and sharp critique of white liberal guilt as well as a nerve-shreddingly effective shocker.

Neatly hijacking the conceits of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? and The Stepford Wives, he tells the story of Afro-American Chris (Brit star Kaluuya), a successful New York photographer and boyfriend of white Manhattanite, Rose (Williams).

They're heading upstate for the weekend to the comfortable clapboard home of her parents - hypnotherapist Missy (Keener) and neurosurgeon Dean (Whitford), a smilingly hospitable couple who immediately tell Chris they would have voted for a Obama a third time, given the chance.

Even if the guilt-assuaging welcome is a little too effusive, all seems well. That is until Chris meets the black staff - live-in handyman Walter (Marcus Henderson) and housekeeper Georgina (Betty Gabriel) both display a disturbingly disconnected air but not enough to alert Chris to anything terribly untoward.

Sensing his slight unease, Rose tells him to kick back and enjoy the trip, particularly as their visit coincides with a house party where the guests are almost exclusively rich and white (with the exception of one '"brother", played by Lakeith Stanfield, who first appears in the opening scene).

Peele displays a masterful hand in carefully building up the increasingly sinister mystery, easing off the pressure with the occasional  timely switch to Chris's motor-mouthed airport cop buddy Rod (LilRel Howery) in NYC, and then back again as tiny events accrue into something truly terrifying.

Tight as a drum and carrying absolutely no fat, Get Out hooks you in with its spookily consummate ability to subtly tease and then strike with a never-saw-it-coming jolt of violence that truly unnerves all the way until the final credits.

It's not just a great horror film. It's a great film.

Tim Evans