Get Out (2017)

A review by Shlomoh Sherman
April 29, 2017

Get Out (2017)
Director: Jordan Peele
Writer: Jordan Peele
Stars: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford
Plot Summary: A young African-American man visits his Caucasian girlfriend's mysterious family estate.
Plot Keywords: hypnosis - loss of mother - black man - nightmare
Taglines: Just because you're invited, doesn't mean you're welcome.
Genres: Horror - Mystery
Motion Picture Rating (MPAA):
Rated R for violence, bloody images, and language including sexual references
Country: USA
Language: English
Release Date: February 24, 2017 (USA)
Filming Locations: Mobile, Alabama, USA, Fairhope, Alabama, USA
Box Office:
Budget: $5,000,000 (estimated)
Opening Weekend: $33,377,060 (USA) (February 24, 2017)
Gross: $170,306,700 (USA) (April 21, 2017)
Company Credits:
Production Co: Blumhouse Productions, QC Entertainment
Runtime: 104 min
Sound Mix: Dolby Digital
Color: Color
MTV Movie Awards 2017:
Nominated: Movie of the Year, Best Actor in a Movie Daniel Kaluuya, Best Comedic Performance LilRel Howery, Next Generation Daniel Kaluuya, Best Duo LilRel Howery
and Daniel Kaluuya, Best Fight Against the System, Best Villain Allison Williams


Plot description from the Internet Movie Database: "A young black man visits his white girlfriend's family estate where he learns that many of its residents, who are black, have gone missing, and he soon learns the horrible truth when a fellow black man on the estate warns him to 'get out'."

In my long movie-going career, I have seen many strange movies. This one is strange with a capial S!

Ever since I watched the early trailer with my friend, Lorraine, I have been intrigued. The trailer lets you know something is wrong in the story but it doesn't tell you exactly what. It makes the movie appear as just another story about racial prejudice but racism is the least horrible thing about it although it's bad enough. By the way, Lorraine reminded me that the protagonist, Chris Washington, is played by Daniel Kaluuya, last seen by us in the BLACK MIRROR episode, 15 Million Merits.

After watching the mnovie, I can easily place director/writer Jordan Peele, in his movie debut, on the same level with Stephen King, M. Night Shyamalan, and even Dean Koontz, maybe especially Dean Koontz.

The movie opens with Chris and his white girlfriend, Rose, getting ready to spend the weekend with Rose's family in an exclusive, upper class suburb. Chris asks Rose if she has told her parents that he is black. When she says that she hasn't, Chris becomes understandably uneasy. He points out that her family is not only white, but as professionals, they are in the privileged upper class, and he wonders why she hasn't prepared them for what might turn into a very uncomfortable situation for all concerned.

Rose assures him that her family has not the slightest shred of racial bias, and, as a matter of fact, her father has often expressed that had Obama run for a thrid term, he would have voted for him. This sentiment is later repeated to Chris by her father. In fact, many references are made about blacks to Chris reminiscent of a bit Lenny Bruce made famous, called How To Relax Your Negro Friends When You re At A Party. Obviously you do this by saying how great Joe Louis, Lena Horne, Sammy Davis Jr, Hattie McDaniels, and Jessie Owens[etc] were. Later in the story, Rose's father actually tells Chris that his own father personally knew Jessie Owens and was with him at the 1936 Olympics.

It turns out that this young black man who is coming to dinner is not quite as fortunate as the character played by Sidney Poitier in the 1967 film GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER. Sidney was never in danger in the San Francisco home of his white girlfriend's parents.

During the weekend, a host of Rose's parents' friends drop by in what they call an annual get-togther.

While at their home, Chris notices that the Armitages, Rose's family, have black servants who act rather oddly. They are polite but there is an undercurrent of something not right, something nasty and mocking about their behavior. This is also true about one of the black guests at the get-together, Andrew Logan King, who Chris is sure he has met before sometime in his life. During the afternoon party, something occurs that draws King out of his eerie daze, and he yells at Chris, "Get Out! Get Out!" The other guests manage to calm King down and his personality returns to that of the docile guest, afterwhich he apologizes to Chris for his bad behavior.

Chris becomes increasingly uncomfortable even though everyone whom he meets treats him politely and respectfully. He begins to realize that something here is definitely wrong. He phones his friend, Rod, a law officer with the Transportation Security Administration, and describes what he has been experiencing since he arrived at the Armitage home. Rod immediately has a strong sense that Chris is in danger and tells him to follow King's advice and get out as quickly as possible.

With Rod's admonition, Chris' anxiety is reenforced and he lets Rose know that he wants to leave immediately. When she asks him what the problem is, he tells her that they have to hurry and he will explain once they are in her car and on their way.

This is where the real horror of the movie begins. Chris learns that leaving is not as easy as he hoped it would be, and he winds up literally fightling for his life.

To reveal more of the story would be a spolier and this movie is too good for me to spoil. Let me just say that if you are a fan of the horror genre, I highly recommend that you see this movie. If horror is not your thing, this is still a terrific movie for you. It is more of a thriller movie with a horror theme embedded.

This film received a 99% aproval rating from ROTTEN TOMATOES []. It lists the genre as Comedy, Horror, Mystery & Suspense but I saw nothing comical about it. Yes, there are moments of comic relief, especially in the scenes with LilRel Howery who plays Rod, but to call one of its genres comedy is rather much. It's no laughing matter when you are on the edge of your seat hoping that Chris will make it out in one piece.

Manohla Dargis in the The NYTimes review called GET OUT "An exhilaratingly smart and scary freak out about a black man in a white nightmare."
Chris Agar in Screen Rant says "Get Out? smartly balances its tones to provide viewers with an entertaining and clever satire that is equal parts funny and terrifying!"
Olly Richards in Empire: "Get Out is a comment on a highly complex situation that’s also a total blast."

In other words, most every review I have seen is very positive.

KUDOS to Jordan Peele [writer and director credits] for his debut cinema winner.
KUDOS to Daniel Kaluuya for his portrayal of Chris Washington, a young man led deceptively into a nightmare.
KUDOS to Catherine Keener as Rose's mother, Missy Armitage. I cannot tell you how much I have always loved this under-rated actress in any movie in which I have seen her. It's been far too long since she has been on-screen.
KUDOS to LilRel Howery as agent Rod Williams whom I have mentioned above as providing much of the film's needed comic relief.
KUDOS to Stephen Root who plays a blind guest at the Armitage's party. This is his second role as a blind man; the first being in a favorite of mine, O BROTHER WHERE ART THOU.
KUDOS to Allison Williams as the literally bewitching Rose Armitage. I have never seen her perform before and I belive that she has not made many films.

Needless to say that my initial positive impression from the movie trailer was not wrong.

Did You Know?

Jordan Peele was inspired to write this movie by Eddie Murphy. During a stand-up comedy show, Murphy talked about going to meet a Caucasian girlfriend's parents.
Jordan Peele directed scenes in the movie while doing impersonations of Tracy Morgan, Forest Whitaker, and Barack Obama.
In a scene where Chris is talking to Georgina about his phone being unplugged in the bedroom, over his shoulder to the right, a poster is visible. The way the camera has cut off the poster, it appears to say "Chris is dead"
In an interview with Jason Guerrasio, Jordan Peele said that the decision to film the movie in Fairhope and Mobile, Alabama, was a very last-minute one necessitated by budget cuts. He said, I think it could be a better movie than we would've done in here in LA.
Allison Williams' first feature film.
Jordan Peele 's feature film directorial debut.
This is the second time actors Lakeith Stanfield and Stephen Root worked together in a film centered on the theme of racism. The first film being SELMA (2014).
Second collaboration between Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener. They previously worked together in AN AMERICAN CRIME (2007).
Actor Stephen Root plays a blind character in one other movie, O BROTHER WHERE ART THOU? His role of a radio station operator who records the Soggy Bottom Boys is listed only as "Radio Station Man."
The "sunken place" can be seen as a metaphor for the paralysis people of color feel in racial America.
When Chris rips the stuffing out of the leather chair, he's literally being forced to "pick cotton."
While Chris is forced to watch the TV, the video keeps repeating "A mind is a terrible thing to waste," which was a slogan for the United Negro College Fund.
Second film starring Catherine Keener after BEING JOHN MALKOVICH (1999).
During the finale, when Chris sees police lights on the dark road, he immediately puts his hands up, despite being the one in danger.
Director Jordan Peele provided the voice on the TV saying "A mind is a terrible thing to waste", which is heard repeatedly in the trailer and once in the film itself. This statement is the slogan for the United Negro College Fund, a charity dedicated to making college education more affordable for black students. It has an ironic double meaning in the context of the film.
Rose isn't actually sticking up for Chris when she argues with the cop about showing ID. She's avoiding a paper trail. Had the cop run both their licenses, there would be a record that Chris was with Rose before his disappearance.
During a talk, director Jordan Peele said that he got the idea of the plot from watching the 1975 movie, THE STEPFORD WIVES (1975), in which suburban husbands replace their rebellious wives with compliant robots.
Jordan Peele said that the original NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968) was also an inspiration for making this his feature film writing-directing debut, because the film has an African American protagonist.

When Rose's car is hit by a deer, the deer jumps from left to right, hitting the driver's side of the car. In the aftermath, it's the passenger's side of the car that shows the damage.
Smoke rises. While the fire was in the basement, Rose should have still been able to smell it in her upstairs room. Only the noise of the car driving away from the home alerted her to any problems and this was between 10-15 minutes of film time from the fire starting.
While the stuffing Chris placed in his ears might dampen the noises in the game room, they wouldn't have been drowned out. The plugs he formed were not large nor could he have inserted them deep enough into his ear channels.
Striking the deer should have caused greater damage to Rose's vehicle.The front grill should have been crushed and both headlights should have been rendered inoperable. It's also likely that the radiator would have been damaged and that the airbags would have deployed.
Rose turned off her Lincoln by push button when she arrived at her parents house. If her car had push button start, she wouldn't have had to search for her keys. She would just need to get in the car and it would have worked. Since Chris was in the car, he would have known that.
When Chris sends Rod a photo on his phone, he begins typing Rod's name into the recipient tab. However, even after several letters, his phone screen shows "no name found" in the tab. A suggested contact should have popped up right away.
When Chris is shaving, the razor clearly has no blades since the shaving cream is merely being smeared around his face.

Shrink: A Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Waste. [This is the famous motto for the United Negro College Fund]
Rod Williams: I mean, I told you not to go in that house.
Chris Washington: How you find me?
Rod Williams: I'm T.S... motherfuckin'-A. We handle shit. That's what we do. Consider this situation fuckin' handled.
Dean Armitage: You know what I say? I say one down, a couple hundred thousand to go. I don't mean to get on my high horse, but I'm telling you I do not like the deer, I'm sick of it, they're taking over, they're like rats, they're destroying the ecosystem. I see a dead deer on the side of the road and I think 'That's a start'.
Rod Williams: Bro, how you not scared of this man? Look they could have made you do all types of stupid shit. They have you fuckin' barking like a dog. Flying around like you a fuckin' pigeon looking ridiculous. Or ... I don't know if you noticed. White people love turning people into sex slaves and shit.
Chris Washington: Yeah I'm pretty sure they are not a kinky sex family, dawg.
Dean Armitage: If I could, I would have voted for Obama for a third term.
Rod Williams: But Chris say he [Andrew Logan King] is acting real different.
Detective Latoya: Different how?
Rod Williams: This dude is from Brooklyn, huh? He didn't used to dress like this.
Detective Latoya: I didn't use to dress like this.
Rod Williams: Plus he is married to a white woman twice his age.
Detective Latoya: That would explain the clothes.

(I've Had) The Time Of My Life Written by John DeNicola, Donald Markowitz and Franke Previte Performed by Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes Courtesy of RCA Records By arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
Run Rabbit Run By Ralph Butler and Noel Gay Performed by Flanagan and Allen Courtesy of Decca Music Group Limited Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
Redbone Written by Donald Glover and Ludwig Göransson Performed by Donald Glover (as Childish Gambino) Courtesy of Glassnote Entertainment Group, LLC

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Daniel Kaluuya ... Chris Washington
Allison Williams ... Rose Armitage
Catherine Keener ... Missy Armitage
Bradley Whitford ... Dean Armitage
Caleb Landry Jones ... Jeremy Armitage
Marcus Henderson ... Walter
Betty Gabriel ... Georgina
Lakeith Stanfield ... Andrew Logan King
Stephen Root ... Jim Hudson
LilRel Howery ... Rod Williams
Ashley LeConte Campbell ... Lisa Deets
John Wilmot ... Gordon Greene
Caren L. Larkey ... Emily Greene
Julie Ann Doan ... April Dray
Rutherford Cravens ... Parker Dray

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