Jordan Peele's "Get Out" represents the best of horror filmmaking, one part social commentary (reminiscent of Romero's Night of the Living Dead or Kramer's Guess Who's Coming to Dinner), one part believable and relatable characters, and two parts suspense from working to piece together the details alongside the protagonist in true mystery form.
People were so engaged, that members of the audience shouted at the screen while the rest of us cheered in agreement during the pre-release screening I attended last Tuesday in Burbank. In an interview, Peele himself likened it to Guess Who's Coming to Dinner meets Rosesmary's Baby and Stepford Wives. I had a different 1978 sci fi classic in mind but to name it might be a spoiler. Suffice it to say this film harkens to the classic horror storytelling that relied more on suspense than blood and gore to get a rise out of its audience.
My friend and I clutched each other in apprehension, audience members warned the main character on screen and we erupted in applause when the protagonist "came up" and the antagonists got their "come up".
Get Out references the very real horror of driving while black, being in the wrong neighborhood while black and being at social events while being "the only black." Micro-agressions galore plus white fetishizing of the black male body, this film pulls all punches. The only slight missing was "Can I touch your hair?" Peele does a skillful job depicting today's racism with dark humor and sensitivity that illustrates the violence, both emotional and physical, that is part of the black American experience.
A great film that keeps you guessing! Kudos to the marketing team for a great trailer that manages to accurately portray the film without giving away its best parts.