Who would have thunk that one of the best horror thrillers of the year would come from the mind of Jordan Peele, one half of sketch comedy duo Key and Peele?
Adding a nightmarish twist to Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?, Peele’s first feature as writer-director is both a biting satire on race relations in the US and an unpredictable ride into Stepford Wives territory.
When white girl Rose (Allison Williams) takes her new African-American boyfriend, Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), to meet the parents over a weekend at their country estate, he’s a little nervous. “Do they know I’m black?” he asks. “Should they?” she replies. Questions that shouldn’t need to be asked, but from the moment Chris meets Allison’s eager-to-please wealthy liberal folks (Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener) and their seemingly zombified hired help, his anxiety is justified.
During an annual party the following day, where the guests appear to hail from Twin Peaks and behave awkwardly in the presence of a black person, Chris receives the titular warning from a fellow “brother” and the scene is set for a chilling and thrilling third act full of big reveals and bouts of cathartic violence.
Combining cringe-comedy and creepiness, Get Out showcases the most demented family gathering since You’re Next, as well as that film’s mischievous mix of humour and horror. Daniel Kaluuya is great as the perpetually paranoid protagonist, and LilRel Howery, as his TSA officer buddy, provides some hilarious – and frequently welcome – comic relief.
Horror films have a long history of reflecting cultural anxieties amidst the scares and Peele’s smart, racially-charged satire couldn’t be more timely. To say more would spoil the fun – just get out and see this bold and brilliant little gem.
In cinemas: May 4, 2017
Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Catherine Keener
Directed by: Jordan Peele