Get Out (R)
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Written and directed by Jordan Peele. This movie is fucking brilliant. And twisted, and scary AF, and it has some really decent humorous beats. And it's a mindscrew in a way that reminded me vaguely of The Cabin in the Woods, but more of The Sixth Sense. By which I mean, it probably won't take you too long to think you know what's going on, but... it's more complicated than what your first guess will be. I don't want to spoil anything, but I will say that, while your first guess might allow you to rethink various lines and plot points that came before your speculation got that far, in a manner similar to rethinking such things in "The Sixth Sense" after you learn the truth of that movie... once you know what's really going on in this movie, your rethinking of things will break through to a whole new level. Yeah, it's that kind of movie; the kind you almost want to rewatch right away just to look at it with new eyes (and ears).
Anyway, it's about a photographer named Chris Washington, who is black, and is dating a white woman named Rose Armitage. Rose takes Chris to meet her parents, Missy (Catherine Keener) and Dean (Bradley Whitford). At first, Chris is a bit worried what Rose's parents will think of their daughter dating a black man (since she says he's the first black guy she's ever dated). But she assures him it will be okay. And... they really do seem okay with the situation, even if their attempts to seem okay with it hit all the predictable tone-deaf notes. (Seriously, we white people are pretty great at sabotaging our own genuinely good intentions through overcompensation. And since that's such a well-known fact, it's easy to look past it... which in this case, plays very cleverly into the reality of what's going on, and helps make a horrific situation seem harmless, at first.) On the other hand, Rose's brother, Jeremy, just seems like a dick.
Okay... so... a couple of important things I need to mention. Missy is a psychiatrist, who uses hypnotism to cure people of their addiction to cigarettes. And Dean is a neurosurgeon. And... the first seriously creepy thing happens when Missy hypnotizes Chris, against his will. The end of that session seems to have been a dream, but I can't imagine anyone watching the movie will believe that. But much more disturbing creepiness comes from the fact that the few other black people Chris meets while staying at the Armitages' estate seem... very strange. This includes a man named Walter and woman named Georgina, who work for Rose's parents, and another man Chris meets later. Also, I need to mention that while Chris is there, his friend Rod (Lil Rel Howery, whom I knew from The Carmichael Show) is taking care of his dog, back in the city. And while Rod mostly serves as comic relief, he's the one who first figures out something about what's going on, based on what Chris tells him over the phone. (His guess is what I'm talking about when I talk about movie viewers' "first guess," something I assume we all figured out well before he actually says it in the movie. But as I said, the truth is more complicated than that.) Also, during the weekend that Rose has chosen for Chris to meet her family, there's a big, annual party going on, which she quite unbelievably forgot was going on that weekend. So there will be lots of other white people who meet Chris and have the same seemingly well-meaning, tone-deaf manner of speaking to him as Rose's parents. Although there is one other black man among them, Logan King, who is married to an older white woman. (He's another of the people I said seemed very strange.) Pretty much the only person Chris meets at the party who seems to really "get it" is a blind man named Jim Hudson (Stephen Root), who owns a photography gallery, and could help Chris advance his career.
Well, eventually Chris learns the truth about what's going on, but I don't want to spoil that. I'll just say that as fucked up as the "first guess" is, the truth is even more fucked up. I should also say that race plays an important part in the movie, though I think it's more involved in some of the realistic aspects, and some of the... misleading-in-plain-sight aspects... than in the actual horror aspects. (And certainly in the "first guess," which would have been a next-level type of slavery. Although I guess the truth is a type of level-beyond-that... But never mind, I wasn't going to say anything about the truth.) Anyway, the DVD has an alternate ending that I think would have been more realistic than the actual ending of the movie. (Because real life is often some unfair shit, especially if you're not white.) But I definitely prefer the actual ending. (Speaking of DVD bonus features, there are a bunch of deleted scenes, a large number of which are minor variations on the actual ending, which are all pretty funny. Although I think my favorite line from a deleted scene wasn't one of those, but another scene with Chris and Jim. It just... it really only has its full effect once you know the whole truth.) Anyway, I don't know what else to tell you.