The most-discussed horror film of the year finally hits New Zealand theatres after becoming a massive sleeper hit in the US.
Get Out more than lives up to the hype, offering well-constructed horror thrills infused by some hilariously well-observed characterisations and a heaping dose of contemporary social relevance.
Jordan Peele, best known for the hit skit show Key & Peele, wrote and directed Get Out, which he says was inspired by white America's response to Obama's presidency. His film stars Daniel Kaluuya (Black Mirror) and Alison Williams (Girls) as Chris and Rose, a young couple in a burgeoning romantic relationship.
Chris is a little nervous about meeting Rose's parents because she hasn't yet told them that he happens to be African American. But after arriving at their house for a weekend stay, Chris sees that Rose's folks couldn't be nicer. In fact, maybe they're a little too nice...
Discovering just where Peele takes his story is one of the film's greatest pleasures. Although it engages some familiar horror movie tropes, Get Out manages a degree of unpredictability missing in many modern fright films. It's elevated considerably by how it draws upon some uncomfortable realties about modern America. In the horror genre, discomfort is a good thing, and Peele wrings every last drop out of the scenario.
For all its social pertinance, the film is never preachy or didactic, and its clearly primarily concerned with providing a solid popcorn experience, which it very much does.
It's encouraging that Get Out is getting a run in NZ theatres, which miss out on a lot of horror movies, but it's unfortunate that it took the film breaking out in a major way at the US box office to ensure its release here.
Hopefully its local success will challenge the severly outdated perception that black-centric movies don't travel well.
Get out and see this rip-snorting thrill-fest and ensure more mid-sized horrors get a cinematic run in Kiwi theatres.
Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams,Catherine Keener
R16 (Violence, offensive language & horror)
A rip snorting thrill-fest