Scary Movie Review: Get Out (2017)


For Halloween week, I’m watching and reviewing highly-regarded horror films that I’ve never seen before.

Title: Get Out
Release Date: February 24, 2017
Director: Jordan Peele
Production Company: Blumhouse Productions | QC Entertainment | Monkeypaw Productions
Summary/Review:

Get Out is a chilling thriller and social commentary on race starring Daniel Kaluuya as Chris Washington, an African American photographer in New York City.  His white girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams) invites him to visit her parent’s large house in a remote suburb, promising Christ that they’re good liberals and not racist. Meeting Rose’s family and neighbors at a party leads to Chris dealing with numerous racial microaggressions.  But even more disturbing is the stilted behavior of the few other black people Chris encounters.

First time director Jordan Peele carries the suspense well for the first two thirds of the film, and it’s not a surprise that he now hosts the revival of The Twilight Zone as the movie has that kind of feel.  The final act is horrifically violent as Chris fights for his life, but it is also rather cathartic.  Symbolically, this movie works on many levels.  It depicts the ways that even “good liberal” white people are complicit in institutionalized racism.  It also relates the continuum of violence upon Black bodies through slavery to segregation to mass incarceration to police violence.  Finally, throughout American history, white people have seen Black culture as fashionable and appropriated it as their own, with characters in Get Out choosing to literally wear black bodies.

There are additional good performances from Catherine Keener and Bradley Whitford as Rose’s parents, and Lil Rel Howery as Chris’ loyal best friend, Rod.  This is an excellent film and definitely worth watching to catch the stuff I missed now that I know what the big twist is.

Rating: ****

Movie Review: Over the Hedge (2006)


TitleOver the Hedge
Release Date: 2006
Director:Tim Johnson & Karey Kirkpatrick
Summary/Review:

The kids picked out this movie about a ragtag group of animals who awake from hibernation to learn that their forest has been surrounded by suburban development.  A scheming raccoon teaches them that they can get food by raiding the human’s trash but he has ulterior motives.  Ultimately it’s a movie about family and who we chose to be family.  There’s a lot of good satire of humanity’s sprawling development and the devastation to the natural world, but the villains in the movie (a bear, a homeowner’s association leader, & an exterminator) are broad caricatures so no one will really see themselves in them.  Ultimately, this is a funny and entertaining movie – the kids got a lot of laughs – but it’s not going to be a family classic.
Rating: **1/2