Socially conscious horror movies don't get any better than 'Get Out'

'Out,' which is directed and written by Jordan Peele, stars Daniel Kaluuya as a young black photographer who is brought to stay at his white girlfriend's parents' house for the weekend. 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.

Universal Pictures/AP
Daniel Kaluuya in a scene from, 'Get Out.'

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.)

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