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Marina Antunes [Celluloid 02.23.17] comedy thriller mystery

Jordan Peele is best known as a comedian and one-half of the hilarious duo of Key & Peele but as it turns out, Peele is also a big horror buff and Get Out, a writing exercise he never figured would get made, is a perfect example of what can happen when an artist is given the opportunity to try something different.

Daniel Kaluuya ("The Fades," "Black Mirror," Sicario) stars as Chris, a talented photographer who is going away for the weekend with his girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams of "Girls" fame) to meet her parents for the first time. He's very black; she's very white and she hasn't told mom and dad. Rose argues race is a non-issue and though at first reluctant, Chris goes along with the weekend plans but rather quickly, even before the pair arrives at the posh family estate, the weekend retreat starts to get weird and only gets progressively worse.

With overtones of The Stepford Wives, Get Out isn't so much scary as it is unsettling. The truth of what's going on in this picturesque suburb isn't revealed for some time but Peele drops more than enough information to suggest to both Chris and the audience that all is definitely not OK.

From the get-go, it's clear that Peele is well versed in the language of horror. Though the movie largely abstains from jump scares, there are one or two instances where they are used to great effect, particularly in combination with Michael Abels' fantastic score which oscillates between the horror and the comedic moments - occasionally at the same time. The movie is also pretty light on brutality with most of it occurring off screen, making the moments we do get to see far more memorable and effective. Get Out is a bit of a greatest hits package from a guy who clearly knows and loves this stuff but more importantly, who understand how the various pieces work and how to use them effectively.

Mixed into this cauldron of goodness is the social commentary on race which is not only integral to the story but also plays a large role in the tone of the movie. Get Out is clearly filtered through Peele's personal experience with the horror genre and that manifests on screen in everything from the language to character motivation but most notably via the hilarious LilRel Howery as a TSA Agent and Chris' best friend Rod. He doesn't only deliver a huge amount of the movie's comedic moments, he also plays double duty as the chorus.

Those looking for scares are likely to be disappointed by Get Out but anyone who doesn't mind a few uncomfortable moments and likes their movies with a bit of intellect and a dash of horror tropes peppered throughout will not be disappointed.

With his feature film debut, Jordan Peele has proven that he's more than just a funny guy.

Get Out opens February 24.

Recommended Release: Invasion of the Body Snatchers

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