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Socially conscious horror movies don't get any better than 'Get Out'

'Out,' which is directed and written by Jordan Peele, stars Daniel Kaluuya as a young black photographer who is brought to stay at his white girlfriend's parents' house for the weekend. In its own darkly satiric way, it is also a movie about racial paranoia that captures the zeitgeist in ways that many more 'prestigious' movies don’t.

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Daniel Kaluuya in a scene from, 'Get Out.'

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As an example of that rare hybrid, the socially conscious horror movie, “Get Out” can’t be beat. 

The film, written and directed by Jordan Peele, is about Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), a young black photographer, and his well-to-do white girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams), who insists on bringing him to her parents’ country estate for the weekend without first informing them that he’s African-American. Chris is nervous, but she reassures him that her neurosurgeon father (Bradley Whitford) and hypnotherapist mother (Catherine Keener) are staunch liberals who would have voted for President Barack Obama for a third term. 

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Sure enough, the parents are super-
accommodating, but a live-in caretaker and housekeeper, both black, seem zombified. By the time a gaggle of mostly white guests arrive at the estate for the annual lawn party, all of them excessively friendly to Chris, the heebie-jeebies really kick in.

Peele, half of the comedy team Key and Peele, makes his writing-directing debut here, and he knows how to work the horror and the humor in ways that keep you giddily on edge throughout. What makes “Get Out” more than just a slam-bang scarefest is that, in its own darkly satiric way, it is also a movie about racial paranoia that captures the zeitgeist in ways that many more “prestigious” movies don’t. Grade: A- (Rated R for violence, bloody images, and language including sexual references.)


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