As an example of that rare hybrid, the socially conscious horror movie, “Get Out” can’t be beat.
The film, written and directed by Jordan Peele, is about Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), a young black photographer, and his well-to-do white girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams), who insists on bringing him to her parents’ country estate for the weekend without first informing them that he’s African-American. Chris is nervous, but she reassures him that her neurosurgeon father (Bradley Whitford) and hypnotherapist mother (Catherine Keener) are staunch liberals who would have voted for President Barack Obama for a third term.
Sure enough, the parents are super-
accommodating, but a live-in caretaker and housekeeper, both black, seem zombified. By the time a gaggle of mostly white guests arrive at the estate for the annual lawn party, all of them excessively friendly to Chris, the heebie-jeebies really kick in.
Peele, half of the comedy team Key and Peele, makes his writing-directing debut here, and he knows how to work the horror and the humor in ways that keep you giddily on edge throughout. What makes “Get Out” more than just a slam-bang scarefest is that, in its own darkly satiric way, it is also a movie about racial paranoia that captures the zeitgeist in ways that many more “prestigious” movies don’t. Grade: A- (Rated R for violence, bloody images, and language including sexual references.)