GET OUT — Review by Martha K. Baker

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Jordan Peele wrote and directed “Get Out” with a black man’s humor, understanding, blood, and brains. The result is a film unlike any other and yet quoting many others. Peele honors the horror film with parody and politics. It’s a scary, funny, bloody ballet on point. Anyone who watched Peele with Keegan-Michael Key on their sketch comedy show knows that Peele has talent. But could Peele stretch a sketch into a full-length feature film? Yes. Yes, he could. Peele transcends television.

He twists the cliches of the sub-genre of the horror film. A black man named Chris has been invited to his white woman’s parents’ home for the weekend. The Armitages live in the country with live-in help, two black servants for two white employers. Rose assures Christ that her parents do not need to know he is black since they would have voted for Barak Obama three times if they could have. Enroute, the two slam into a deer, and Peele plays this scary crash with the close-ups and the pounding music of the horror film. Then, Chris finds out that this weekend is the one paying homage to Rose’s grandfather, so he’s surrounded by well-meaning whites who say the god-awfullest things to his face.

He begins to think that something nefarious is going on around there. So do we. Because it is.

Daniel Kaluuya is terrific as Chris, gullible and gutsy by turn. Allison Williams is the ingenuine ingenue. Bradley Whitford, at his very best, and Catherine Keener, not at her best, are the suburban Armitrages. LilRel Howery hilariously raises the TSA far above its pay grade. Under Peele’s direction and writing, “Get Out” deconstructs the horror film while refueling black comedy brilliantly. What an homage!

I’m Martha K. Baker. From the Grand Center Arts District, this is 88.1 KDHX, St. Louis.

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Martha K. Baker

I first taught film at Lakeland College in Wisconsin in 1969 and became a professional film reviewer in 1976 in St. Louis, Mo. Through the years, I have reviewed films for the St. Louis Business Journal, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Episcopal Life, and KWMU (NPR), among other outlets. I've reviewed at KDHX radio, my current outlet, for nearly 20 years.