Bethlehem Press

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Review:‘Get Out’

Friday, April 7, 2017 by PAUL WILLISTEIN pwillistein@tnonline.com in Focus

“Get Out” is a weird, wild and wacky horror film.

The theatrical movie screenplay and directorial debut by Jordan Peele (Emmy recipient, Outstanding Variety Sketch Series, for TV’s ”Key and Peele” (with Keegan-Michael Key), 2016; writer, theatrical feature, “Keanu,” 2016), is also a phenom.

The budget of “Get Out” was about $4.5 million. As of the March 31 weekend, “Get Out” has grossed $156.9 million domestically.

The movie is not only a phenomenon as one of best-ever ROIs (Return On Investment), it is a phenom because it provides quite an original twist on the horror film genre, and mostly sticks to that fine line between an exploitation film, a suspense shocker and a gross-out horror film.

The premise has to do with a young city couple. A young African-American man, Chris (Daniel Kaluuya, ”Sicario,” 2015), meets the family of Rose (Allison Williams, TV’s “Girls,” 2012-17), his Caucasian girlfriend.

Chris is chill with the prospect of meeting Rose’s parents and projects a mood of being prepared for the worst, yet reassures her, as if to convince himself, “It’s all good.”

And yet from the moment Chris steps foot on the large wooded property of his girlfriend’s family’s oversized Cape Cod house, something is amiss. The parents, Missy (Catherine Keener, Oscar supporting actress nominee, “Capote,” 2006, and “Being John Malkovich,” 2000) and Dean (Bradley Whitford, TV’s “The West Wing,” 1999-2006) are fawning, obsequious and just a bit too nice. “We’re huggers,” Dean chortles.

The, ahem, dead giveaway, is their son, Jeremy (Caleb Landry Jones, “X-Men: First Class,” 2011), a genuine creepazoid.

Also exceedingly strange are the family’s housekeeper, Georgina (Betty Gabriel, ”The Purge: Election Year,” 2016), and grounds keeper, Walter (Marcus Henderson, “Pete’s Dragon,” 2016), who seem distant and a bit daft.

Revealing more of the plot would spoil the movie for you. Suffice it to say there are plenty of bumps along the way, and most are in the best sense of what you want from a horror film.

“Get Out” has a lot of style, from Hitchcockian suspense film camera angles (Director of Photography Toby Oliver, “Insidious: Chapter 4,” 2017) and character dialogue interplay, to its often jokey take on the genre, ala “Scary Movie” (2000) and its sequels, to its “The Boys From Brazil” (1978) mad scientist scenes and sensibility, to its old-school movie use of music (excellent score by composer Michael Abels in his theatrical movie debut). Most of the movie is not violent. However, the final 20 minutes or so is rather graphic.

Kaluuva displays a range of emotions, from sweetness to sheer horror as the boyfriend done wrong. Williams is fine as the girlfriend who seems so normal until she shows a completely different side.

Peele lets the screenplay get a bit out of control in the final third and even invokes the cliched “beating heart sound.” But he keeps the film from going off the rails with a strong finish in the style of “Sleeping With The Enemy” (1991) and “Fatal Attraction” (1987).

In interviews by Peele and in reviews of the film, much has been made of the film’s skewering of white liberals. However, the film does so in an oblique way and one that is not particularly successful.

The film’s title, by the way, is apparently taken from a phrase shouted in movie theaters by audience members to warn characters on the screen when they go into a house or building when they ought to know better.

You will probably get into “Get Out.”

“Get Out,”MPAA rated R (Restricted. Children Under 17 Require Accompanying Parent or Adult Guardian.) for violence, bloody images, and language including sexual references; Genre: Horror, Mystery; Run Time: 1 hr., 44 min.; Distributed by Universal Pictures.

Credit Readers Anonymous:“Get Out” was filmed in Alabama.

Box Office,March 31: There’s a new boss in town at the weekend box office, and it’s the Animation Theatrical Feature Comedy, “The Boss Baby,” with the title character voiced by Alec Baldwin, opening at No. 1 with $49 million, ending the two-week No. 1 reign of “Beauty and the Beast,” $47.5 million, $395.4 million, three weeks, with “Ghost in the Shell,” starring Scarlett Johansson, adjudged a bomb, opening at No. 3 with only $19 million; 4. “Power Rangers,” $14.5 million, $65 million, two weeks; 5. “Kong: Skull Island,” $8.8 million, $147.8 million, four weeks; 6. “Logan,” $6.2 million, $211.8 million, five weeks; 7. “Get Out,” $5.8 million, $156.8 million, six weeks; 8. “Life,” $5.6 million, $22.4 million, two weeks; 9. “CHiPs,” $4.1 million, $14.3 million, two weeks; opening; 10. “The Zookeeper’s Wife,” $3.3 million, opening.

Unreel,April 7:

“Smurfs: The Lost Village,”PG: Kelly Asbury directs the voice talents of Ariel Winter, Joe Manganiello, Michelle Rodriguez and Julia Roberts in the Animation Comedy as a mysterious map sets Smurfette and her friends Brainy, Clumsy and Hefty, on a race through the Forbidden Forest.

“Going in Style,”PG-13: Zach Braff directs Morgan Freeman, Joey King, Ann-Margret and Michael Caine in the remake of the 1979 caper comedy that starred George Burns and Art Carney as lifelong pals who hold up a bank.

“The Case for Christ,”PG: Jon Gunn directs Mike Vogel, Erika Christensen, Faye Dunaway and Robert Forster in the Drama about a journalist who tries to disprove the existence of God after his wife becomes a Christian.

“Colossal,”R: Nacho Vigalondo directs Dan Stevens, Anne Hathaway, Jason Sudeikis and Tim Blake Nelson in the Science-Fiction Comedy about a woman who discovers that catastrophic events are connected to her mental breakdown.

Three Popcorn Boxes out of Five Popcorn Boxes