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Get Out

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Imagine if Ben Stiller had encountered hypnotism and brain surgery when he went to Meet The Parents. That is a fair description of Jordan Peele’s Get Out, a gripping, thrilling and at times shocking horror film about social attitudes and the power of privilege. Writer-director Peele structures the film carefully, as an opening sequence is conducted almost entirely in a wide angled, single long take, that echoes Halloween and the more recent It Follows. Such composition sets the scene of menace and danger as part of the overall picture if not seen immediately. The viewer is then introduced to likeable couple Chris Washington (David Kaluuya) and Rose Armitage (Allison Williams), taking a weekend trip to Rose’s parents Dean (Bradley Whitford, whose character echoes his from The Cabin in the Woods) and Missy (Catherine Keener, turning her usual comforting presence to more sinister ends). Chris is concerned about the Armitages’ attitude towards his race, but despite Rose’s assurances a sense of unease rapidly develops as the family sees too clean cut and their African-American servants are clearly strange. As other guests arrive for a party their racial attitudes shift from initially grating to increasingly creepy. Past traumas and emotional vulnerability are exploited as things become ever more sinister, with scenes of direct mental manipulation proving especially unnerving. In its final act the film moves away from psychological scares to more physical ones, becoming increasingly hysterical and ultimately less effective. Although a potentially devastating plot twist is avoided, Get Out contains more than enough atmosphere and dread to leave one feeling shaken and disturbed.

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